PRC Technology Transfer

1998 - 1999

Materials are arranged in reverse chronological order.

Gerth, Jeff. "McDonnell Douglas and Chinese Indicted for Deal." New York Times, 20 Oct. 1999. []

On 19 October 1999, a Federal grand jury indicted the McDonnell Douglas Corporation and the state-owned China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corporation (Catic) "on charges of conspiring to hide important details of a 1994 sale of American machining equipment, some of which was diverted to a Chinese military site."

Gertz, Bill. "China Recruits Spies for Science." Washington Times, 11 Oct. 1999. [http://]

According to the quarterly report of the National Counterintelligence Center (NCIC), "China is recruiting scientists around the world in its efforts to acquire weapons technology from other countries."

Counterintelligence News and Developments. "Industrial Espionage Key to PRC Technological Development." Mar. 1999. []

Reports on two articles in specialized PRC publications that suggesting "that China is ethically justified in using 'informal' means to level the global 'technology imbalance'": "The International Economic Intelligence War," in the 19 November 1998 issue of Zhongguo Maoyi Bao, and "On the North-South Technology Imbalance," in the May 1998 technology policy journal Keji Jinbu yu Duice.

Gerth, Jeff, and Eric Schmitt. "Political Battle: What to Reveal on China Arms." New York Times, 10 Mar. 1999. []

In Boston on 9 March 1999, "a federal grand jury indicted Yao Yi, a Chinese scientist, and Collin Shu, a Canadian, on charges of conspiracy to violate export control laws by attempting to ship fiberoptic gyroscopes to China.... The Customs Service contends that the shipments, had they succeeded, could have helped China improve the accuracy of their missiles."

Sanger, David E. "Clinton Aides Admit Lapses on Espionage by Chinese." New York Times, 7 Mar. 1999. []

National Security Adviser Sandy Berger and Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said on 6 March 1999 "that the investigation into China's acquisition of U.S. nuclear weapons technology showed enormous lapses in security at the Energy Department's laboratories in the 1980s."

Gertz, Bill. "House Panel Urges Action on Chinese Thefts." Washington Times, 5 Feb. 1999.

The recommendations of the House Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns, chaired by Christopher Cox (R-CA), have been declassified by the White House. The full report remains secret, but "reveals how Chinese intelligence agents stole data on the neutron bomb ... from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California circa 1986."

Gertz, Bill. "Technology Transfers Threaten U.S.: Panel." Washington Times National Weekly Edition, 4-10 Jan. 1999, 18.

A report by the House Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns, chaired by Christopher Cox (R-CA), has "made 38 recommendations to both the administration and Congress that would tighten controls over sensitive technology transfer."

Gerth, Jeff, and Eric Schmitt. "House Panel Says Chinese Obtained U.S. Arms Secrets." New York Times, 31 Dec. 1998. []

A House select committee has "has found that over the last 20 years China obtained, sometimes through theft, some of the most sensitive of American military technology, including nuclear weapons design." The panel's inquiry began in May 1998, prompted by the transfer by U.S. companies of satellite and missile-related technology to China.

"[W]itnesses and intelligence officials who worked with the committee said it agreed with assessments by the Pentagon and the State Department that information shared with Chinese scientists by two American companies, the Hughes Electronics Corporation and Loral Space and Communications, had improved Beijing's ability to launch satellites and ballistic missiles."

Mintz, John. "Panel Faults Space Aid to China." Washington Post, 31 Dec. 1998, A1. []

The House select committee's report "is the most comprehensive review so far" of evidence that aerospace companies Hughes and Loral "shared sensitive U.S. technologies as they pursued commercial relations in China.... In a rare show of bipartisanship on what for months has been a divisive issue, the special panel ... voted 9-0 yesterday to endorse the secret ... study and send it to congressional leaders and the Clinton administration. The panel is expected to release a shorter, unclassified version of its findings within a few months, after it is reviewed by government agencies."

Mintz, John. "U.S. Probes Company's Covert Operations." Washington Post, 30 Dec. 1998, A1. []

Federal agents raided the Alexandria office of Vector Microwave Research Corporation on 20 November 1997. "Vector was a leading entrepreneur in a classified or 'black' specialty with high stakes and few rules: covertly acquiring foreign missiles, radar, artillery and other weapons for U.S. intelligence agencies." Although no charges have been filed, "investigators are trying to determine at whose behest the firm bid for a batch of North Korean missiles" and whether the company "provided China sensitive technical specifications on the U.S. Stinger antiaircraft missile."

Gerth, Jeff. "C.I.A. Ignored Report of Payments to Chinese for Satellite Contracts." New York Times, 24 Dec. 1998. []

"CIA officers in China told headquarters in March 1996 that a consultant for American aerospace companies had made payments to Chinese officials in hopes of getting lucrative contracts, U.S. intelligence officials say.... [F]or reasons that remain unclear, the cable languished in CIA files for more than two years.... It was unearthed this year only after congressional committees began examining whether the Clinton administration had compromised national security in its zeal to promote high technology exports to China.... The consultant is Bansang Lee, a Chinese-American who worked for Hughes Space & Communications and for Loral Space & Communications."

Loeb, Vernon, and John Mintz. "CIA Faces Criminal Probe in China Case: Information Given to Satellite Firm." Washington Post, 5 Dec. 1998, A1. "Did the CIA Spill the Beans to China on Space Technology?" Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 14 Dec. 1998, 29.

"The Justice Department has initiated a criminal probe of the CIA to determine whether the agency obstructed justice when it provided information to Hughes Electronics Corp. about the scope of an ongoing congressional investigation into the transfer of sensitive U.S. space technology to China."

Timperlake, Edward, and William C. Triplett, II. Year of the Rat: How Bill Clinton Compromised U.S. Security for Chinese Cash. Washington, DC: Regnery, 1998.

Seamon, Proceedings 125.2 (Feb. 1999), comments that "for credulous Clinton haters and true conspiracy buffs, this tendentious polemic provides a satisfying feast." The authors were "determined to demonstrate that Chinese money, illegally funneled to Democratic campaigns, was behind a far worse scandal than sexual hanky-panky in the Oval Office."

Pincus, Walter. "U.S. Gains Intelligence in China Launches." Washington Post, 13 Jun. 1998, A18. []

"When Chinese officials, trying to explain in 1996 why one of their satellite-bearing rockets had blown up, gave an American review panel a report detailing what had gone wrong, it was the first time they had revealed to outsiders the inner workings of their Long March missiles. The Chinese report, said John Pike of the Federation of American Scientists, contained 'material a spy could only dream of.'"

Pincus, Walter, and Roberto Suro. "CIA Director Is Quiet on Technology Transfer." Washington Post, 5 Jun. 1998, A4. []

On 4 June 1998, "CIA Director George J. Tenet refused ... to discuss with the Senate Intelligence Committee a secret report about an unauthorized U.S. transfer of information [by aerospace company Loral] to Chinese missile officials, citing a last-minute request by Attorney General Janet Reno to reserve comment on the case." Reno later withdrew the objection, clearing the way for the CIA to release the report to the Senate committee.

Suro, Roberto, and John F. Harris. "President Overrode China Launch Concerns." Washington Post, 23 May 1998, A1. []

Documents released by the White House on 22 May 1998 show that "President Clinton gave the go-ahead in February" to Loral's satellite launch in China "despite staff concerns that granting such approval might be seen as letting the company 'off the hook' in a Justice Department investigation of whether it previously provided unauthorized assistance to China's ballistic missile program." The documents also show "that the State Department and other agencies had determined that the launch ... was in 'the national interest' and recommended approval."

Suro, Roberto. "Justice Dept. Investigates Satellite Exports." Washington Post, 17 May 1998, A1. []

"The Justice Department's campaign finance task force has begun to examine whether a Clinton administration decision to export commercial satellites to China was influenced by contributions to the Democratic Party during the 1996 campaign."

Eilperin, Juliet. "GOP Says U.S. Gave China Nuclear Edge." Washington Post, 6 May 1998, A4. []

Congressional Republicans will hold hearings to investigate President Clinton's decisions permitting aerospace companies Loral and Hughes to export satellites to be launched by Chinese rockets. The issue is whether the actions "allowed the Chinese to acquire technology to improve the accuracy of their nuclear missiles."

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