Sunday, December 14, 2014

The price of normalizing relations with Communist China

"If you see what is right and fail to act on it, you lack courage." - Confucius

China goes ballistic, tests nuclear-capable missiles able to reach U.S.

On December 12th posted a blog entry: "Bill Clinton's China Policy and its impact on the USA" and almost immediately the debate began that the policy of the United States towards China had been an entirely bipartisan affair. It is true that Richard Nixon opened to China first with the betrayal of the free Chinese in 1971 then his visit to Mao's China and issuing of the Shanghai Communiqué in 1972. Jimmy Carter followed up in 1979 with full normalization of relations with the regime.

What was different with Clinton's actions in 1994 were first that he had tied the annual review of Most Favored Nation trading status to China’s record on human rights in 1993, a decision that was in keeping with popular opinion on China. When this status came up for renewal the next year, Clinton reversed this position and granted China MFN without requiring any changes regarding human rights.

Clinton confidante Webster Hubbell was forced to resign to face a criminal investigation in 1994, the former associate attorney general received more than $400,000 from about a dozen enterprises, including the organizers of a multibillion-dollar development in mainland China that received the endorsement of the Clinton administration. Jane White, the author of America, welcome to the poorhouse, have called Bill Clinton, the outsourcer in chief.

What did this translate into in concrete economic terms? According to Jane White quite a lot: "Manufacturers never emerged from the 2001 recession, which coincided with China's entry into the World Trade Organization. Between 2001 and 2009 the U.S. lost 42,400 factories and manufacturing employment dropped to 11.7 million, a loss of 32 percent of all manufacturing jobs. The last time fewer than 12 million people worked in the manufacturing sector was in 1941."

Not so fast GOP the Clinton Administration bears responsibility for this
Unfortunately, the bipartisan consensus on trade with communist China has been a disaster that is now seen with the US economy having been eclipsed by Beijing as the number one economy in the world, but the action of Clinton during the 1990s not only aided and abetted this process but accelerated the modernization and reach of communist China's intercontinental ballistic missiles to the United States homeland.

The argument made by apologists of normalizing relations is that this relationship is based on a realpolitik balance of power calculation. That may have been true until 1991, but with the collapse of the Soviet Union the policy of continued economic engagement with Communist China as a counterbalance made no sense.

Furthermore what took place during the 1990s with the Loral Corporation makes a mockery out of national security claims and is heavily impacting today. The Peoples Republic of China during the 1990s was having set backs getting its rockets to launch successfully but American corporations came to the rescue with the assistance of presidential waivers signed by President Bill Clinton in exchange for substantial campaign donations.

According to Bloomberg Business Week in 1999:
"On Dec. 21, 1992, a rocket exploded 48 seconds after liftoff from Xichang Launch Center in western China, the first of a string of high-profile failures by Chinese rockets carrying U.S.-made satellites. The mishaps put China's nascent launch industry in jeopardy and set off a scramble by two leading U.S. satellite companies to save face--and save a business on which they depended." ... The State Dept., the Pentagon, and a special House panel headed by Representative Christopher Cox (R-Calif.) have all concluded that the two companies gave Beijing analytical knowhow that could improve both commercial launchers and ballistic missiles, such as the Dong Feng-31, a missile with a 4,500-mile range that China tested on Aug. 2."
In 1996 another launch mishap led to extensive collaboration by Loral and Hughes which was reported by the Export Compliance Training Institute:
On February 14, 1996, a three-stage Long March 3B rocket lifted off from China’s Xichang Satellite Launching Center. Even before clearing the launch tower, the rocket tipped over and continued on a flight trajectory roughly parallel to the ground on a collision course with a nearby village. Seconds later, the rocket, along with its Loral-made satellite designed to provide broadcast television service to Latin America, exploded in a force equivalent to 55 tons of TNT. According to official PRC reports, the ensuing fireball killed six people, but other estimates cite the death toll as high as 100. The event became known as the “Valentine’s Day Massacre” among those in the aerospace industry.
 Foreign policy expert and author of Kissinger on the Couch, Phyllis Schlafly in her June 1998 column reported that  "The CIA said that China's targeting of its missiles at U.S. cities was made more accurate by Loral's unauthorized help. The Justice Department started a criminal investigation of Loral, and the State Department warned that Loral's actions had been "criminal, likely to be indicted, knowing and unlawful." 

John Mintz in The Washington Post on January 1, 2003 reported that The State Department had charged that two of the country's largest aerospace companies, Hughes Electronics Corp. and Boeing Satellite Systems (Loral), illegally transferred sensitive U.S. space technology to China in the 1990s that could have helped Beijing's military develop intercontinental missiles. 

 The Export Compliance Training Institute offered a detailed overview of what these companies did and the damage done: 
 Shortly after the (1996) crash, the insurance underwriter demanded an independent investigation. In early April 1996, China Great Wall Industry Corporation, the PRC state-controlled missile, rocket, and launch provider, recruited experts to participate in the Independent Review Committee: four senior engineers from Loral, two from Hughes Space & Communications, one from Daimler-Benz Aerospace, and retired experts from Intelsat, British Aerospace, and General Dynamics. Although Loral’s outside corporate security committee recommended obtaining a U.S. government license to sanction the review effort, no such license was ever requested.

The Independent Review Committee met with PRC engineers and proceeded to generate a preliminary report. While never publicly released, the 25-page report apparently found a number of problems with the Chinese missile launch system, including the poor soldering in the rocket’s guidance system. The entire report, chock-full of juicy technical know-how, was then faxed to Great Wall Industry without a State Department license.

One month later, Loral Corporation disclosed to the State Department that it might have unintentionally violated laws regulating the transfer of high technology to China. In the wake of a third launch failure in 38 months involving a Chinese rocket carrying a U.S.- built satellite, the potential harm caused by the release of the report to the Chinese government initially appeared insignificant. What harm could one more report do? Plenty, according to State Department investigators.

China’s aerospace industry has benefited from extensive state largesse and has provided a launching pad for commercial satellites since the early 1980s. The PRC boasts a well-developed commercial and ballistic missile program with an estimated arsenal of 20 ICBMs. A key manufacturer of those ICBMs is Great Wall Industry – and many experts conclude that an improvement in the guidance systems of China’s commercial boosters would likely result in similar improvements to the Chinese nuclear missiles aimed at the United States.

After a review of their disclosures by several U.S. government offices, including the State Department, the Defense Technology Security Administration, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and other Defense Department agencies, the Department of Defense concluded that Loral “committed a serious export control violation by virtue of having performed a defense service without a license . . .” and referred the matter to the Department of Justice for possible criminal prosecution. The Justice Department probe set off a wave of investigations. The Pentagon, the State Department, and numerous congressional committees began to examine the alleged ITAR violations, and the Loral case was rapidly politicized.

When the details surrounding the Loral transfer surfaced, Republicans criticized President Bill Clinton, for being lax with national security. The allegations of White House complicity in the Loral transfers received a boost in the midst of the Justice investigation, when the Clinton administration approved yet another Loral launch using a Chinese vehicle. Critics voiced concern that Clinton approved the satellite export at the request of Loral’s chairman and chief executive officer, Bernard L. Schwartz, a major Democratic donor and a friend of the Clinton White House.
 In the end the Loral Space and Communications Corporation paid out $20 million in fines to settle the Federal investigation which is relatively small potatoes when compared to $250 million telecommunications deal for Loral to launch satellites on Chinese rockets.

Bill Gertz in The Washington Times reported on October 2, 2014 that "China’s military has conducted the first flight test of a new variant of one of its road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles in a sign that Beijing is increasing its strategic strike capability against the United States. The test of a new DF-31B missile was conducted Sept. 25 from a missile test range in central China."

DF-31A mobile missile
 U.S policy in China has provided both the economic and technical assistance to a communist totalitarian dictatorship with a track record of mass murdering its own people to build up a a military with ICBMs that are able to accurately target American cities. This is not a policy that serves the just interests of the United States, but its betrayal in the pursuit of cold hard cash. It is the height of crony capitalism and bodes ill not only for the future of the United States but the world and unfortunately we've been down this path before.

Ironically in 2014 it is Communist China's military shipping U.S. equipment to Cuba in violation of American economic sanctions. Meanwhile Cuba smuggles weapons to North Korea in violation of international sanctions. In both cases no one seems to care.

[This is the second of three essays on China and "normal" relations: the first gives an overview of Clinton's China policy and its devastating effect on the United States and third describes what happens when a people opt for solidarity instead of "normal relations" are available via hyperlink.]

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