NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY EXPORT (House of Representatives - February 03, 1998)

[Page: H105]

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Miller of Florida). Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 21, 1997 the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone) is recognized during morning hour debates for 5 minutes.

Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, on January 12 of this year, the Clinton administration issued a statement certifying that China had provided clear and unequivocal assurances to the United States that it is not assisting and will not assist any nonnuclear weapons State either directly or indirectly in acquiring nuclear explosive devices or the material components of such devices. This is the first time in 12 years that a U.S. President has granted such a certification.

I am greatly disturbed by this statement. As many Members of this body are aware, China is a major supplier of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear and missile technology. We have less than 30 days to take action and either reject or accept the certification.

Mr. Speaker, when the United States and China had signed an accord in 1985 to allow American firms to export nuclear technology to China, Members of Congress were concerned over China's sales of nuclear weapons technology to third countries. In response, Congress quickly passed legislation that required the President to first certify that China has not sold or transferred nuclear technology to countries that are not subject to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. In granting this certification, the Clinton administration has chosen to overlook China's recent transfer of nuclear technology to unregulated nuclear facilities in Pakistan and Iran. The administration has accepted a so-called assurance by Beijing that it would cancel or postpone indefinitely several projects, especially secret nuclear facilities in Pakistan and a uranium conversion facility in Iran, as the basis for the United States granting the certification.

The administration continues to overlook CIA findings that the Chinese have sold 5,000 ring magnets to Pakistan for its uranium enrichment facility. The ring magnets were transferred to a laboratory in Pakistan, and the facility is named after the founder of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. I would like to note that ring magnets are used for the building of nuclear weapons.

The administration has overlooked, in my opinion, a CIA report that described the Chinese sale of a special industrial furnace and high-tech diagnostic equipment to Pakistan. The furnace and diagnostic equipment have dual use and can be used to melt plutonium as well as uranium for nuclear weapons. Furthermore, by granting the certification the administration is willing to approve China's continued support of Pakistan's commitment to build a plutonium production reactor and a plutonium reprocessing plant. These facilities are essential for a nuclear weapons program.

Despite the repeated protests by Members of this body, China continues to assist Pakistan in building a sophisticated nuclear arsenal. Unfortunately, this nuclear arsenal is not subject to international inspection. Furthermore, the administration continues to look the other way as China continues to export technology and ballistic and missile components to Pakistan. I would like to remind my colleagues that Pakistan is not a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and bans investigators from several of its nuclear facilities. Members of this body have supported and at times insisted that China receive United States peaceful nuclear technology only if China halts all nuclear exports to nations with unregulated nuclear facilities.

Last year a letter was sent to President Clinton by Members of this body stating that China has not earned or behaved in a manner that warrants such certification. The Arms Control and Disarmament Agency's annual report to Congress stated that while the administration could not stipulate a violation, questions remained about contacts between Chinese entities and elements associated with Pakistan's nuclear weapons program.

Mr. Speaker, I hope that many of my colleagues will support legislation that rejects the administration's granting of this certification. We have less than 30 days to act. We must send a message to the Chinese that we will not turn our heads away and accept its nuclear weapons relations with Pakistan. We should not accept the assurances made by the Chinese when they have continually failed to be responsible and act responsibly as a member of the international proliferation community.