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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Floor Statement 1 China Nonproliferation

FLOOR STATEMENT OF U.S. SENATOR FRED THOMPSONCHINA NONPROLIFERATION ACT
June 22, 2000

Mr. THOMPSON. Mr. President, normally I do not think that matters of trade should be encumbered by other non- trade considerations; however, in the case of China, the situation is different. Not only are we considering trade with someone other than an ally, someone other than a nation that shares our values and outlooks on life, but we are beginning a new relationship with a nation that is actively involved in activities that go against the national security of this nation, and go against the security of the entire world. China still is one of the world's leading proliferators of weapons of mass destruction. We are right now engaged in a debate in this country over a national missile defense, because of the activities of certain rogue nations and the weapons of mass destruction that they are rapidly developing. They're developing those weapons, Mr. President, in large part because of the assistance they're getting from the Chinese.
The Rumsfeld Commission reported in July of 1998 that "China poses a threat as a significant proliferator of ballistic missiles, weapons of mass destruction, and enabling technology. It has carried out extensive transfers to Iran's solid fuel ballistic missile program and has supplied Pakistan with a design for nuclear weapons and additional nuclear weapons assistance. It has even transferred complete ballistic missile systems to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. China's behavior thus far makes it appear unlikely it will soon effectively reduce its country's sizable transfers of critical technologies, experts, or expertise, to the emerging missile powers."
Mr. President, I speak today not to get into the middle of the PNTR debate, because that is yet to come, but because something has come to my attention that I think deserves comment.
Under issue cover date of June 22 - today - The Far Eastern Economic Review reports this: "Robert Einhorn, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation, left Hong Kong on June 11 with a small delegation bound for Beijing. Neither the American or Chinese side reported this trip. Einhorn is on a delicate mission to get a commitment from Beijing not to export missile technology and components to Iran and Pakistan. China has agreed in principle to resume nonproliferation discussions with the U.S. in July. But Einhorn's trip has an added urgency because recent U.S. intelligence reports suggest that China may have begun building a missile plant in Pakistan. If true, it would be the second Chinese-built plant there. A senior US official declined comment on the report, but said that Washington is concerned that China has resumed work on an M-11 missile plant it started building in Pakistan in 1990. Work stopped in 1996 when Pakistan, facing U.S. sanctions, pledged itself to good behavior."
Mr. President, if this report is true, I must say that it's totally consistent with everything else the Chinese have been doing over the past several years. In summary, they have materially assisted Pakistan's missile program; they have materially assisted North Korea's missile program; they have materially assisted Libya's missile program. They have now been responsible apparently for two missile plants in Pakistan. The India- Pakistan part of the
world is a nuclear tinder box. They are going after one other with tests of missiles with the Indians saying they're responding to the Pakistanis' tests. The Pakistanis in turn are developing capabilities almost solely dependent on the Chinese. All of this activity by China is in clear violation of the Missile Technology Control Regime, which they have agreed to adhere to. In addition, they have assisted in uranium and plutonium production in Pakistan. This is in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. They have been of major assistance to the Iranian missile program. They have supplied guidance systems to the Iranians. They have helped them test flight their Shahab-3 missile. They have now successfully conducted a test flight of that missile. They have supplied raw materials and equipment for North Korea's missile program. Plus, in addition, they have supplied cruise missiles to Iran, and they have supplied chemicals and equipment and a plant to Iran to help them produce chemical weapons.
Now, all of these have to do with reports, most have to do with intelligence reports, that we have received in open session before Congressional committees year after year after year where the Chinese have promised that they would do better, promised that they would adhere to international regimes and norms of conduct, and they have consistently violated them. We cannot turn a blind eye to these factors as we consider PNTR.
What is to happen to a nation that will not protect itself against obvious threats to its national security? That's why, Mr. President, we have introduced a bill that will establish an annual review mechanism that assesses China's behavior with regard to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. And if it is determined that they continue in this conduct, we will have responses. They will be WTO-compliant; for the most part they will not be trade-related. They address things like Chinese access to our capital markets. They now are raising billions of dollars in our capital markets, and there's no transparency. We do not know what the monies are going for. We know precious little about the companies except that they are basically controlled by the Chinese government. Many people feel like the money is going back to enhance their military and other activities such as that. There needs to be transparency. They need to be told that if they continue with this pattern of making the world less safe, creating a situation where we even need to have to worry about a national missile defense system, assisting these rogue nations with the capability of hitting us with nuclear and biological and chemical weapons, that there's going to be a response by this country. It will be measured; it will be calculated; it will be careful; it will be tiered-up in severity based upon the level of their activities. And this is what we're going to be considering in conjunction with the PNTR debate.
I thought is was important that I bring this latest information concerning the Chinese activities in building apparently another missile plant in Pakistan, which is a nuclear tinder box, even at the time - even at the time - that we have under consideration permanent normal trade relations with them. That shows no respect for us; it shows no respect for the international regimes which seek to control such things, and it is time we got their attention. I yield the floor. http://web.archive.org/web/20021113060525/thompson.senate.gov/press/2000/speeches/fs062200.html

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Fred Thompson

Fred Thompson
Former U.S. Senator (R-TN)