QUESTIONS REGARDING CHINESE EXPORT OF MISSILES AND NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY (House of Representatives - March 30, 1998)

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The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, earlier this year I stood in this Chamber and expressed my concern regarding the administration's certification that China had provided clear and unequivocal assurances that it was not either directly or indirectly assisting nonnuclear weapon states, and the states that I used as an example were Pakistan and Iran, in the acquisition of nuclear explosive devices. I had pointed out that this was the first time in 12 years that a U.S. President had granted such a certification.

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday, the administration officials in China reaffirmed their claim that China had kept its pledge. They had accepted the Chinese assurances that they have not helped Iran build nuclear weapons. They were, however, concerned about Chinese missile sales to Tehran. They also declined to discuss a foiled plan by a Chinese firm to sell Iran a chemical that could be used in the enrichment of uranium for nuclear weapons.

Sources have said that the meeting between the administration and the Chinese Government was to work out an agreement to give China access to Washington's more advanced missile technology if the Chinese agree not to export missiles to Iran and Pakistan.

Mr. Speaker, I must express tonight my concern regarding statements made by the administration regarding nuclear technology and China. As many Members of this body are aware, China is a major supplier of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear and missile technology.

When the United States and China 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 to require 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 the 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 so-called assurances 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 U.S. granting the certification.

Earlier this year, the Congressional Research Service stated that China may be continuing to violate its commitment to abide by international nuclear proliferation guidelines. Yet, 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 Kahuta, Pakistan. The facility in Kahuta 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 a CIA report that described the Chinese sale of 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 and uranium for nuclear weapons.

Paul Levanthal of the Nuclear Control Institute said that the United States should be on the lookout for China providing Pakistan with heavy water to start up a military plutonium production reactor at Khushab.

Mr. Speaker, I would like for the administration to outline the Chinese policy on controlling sales of missile technology. Unfortunately, they cannot. As several sources have correctly pointed out, the Chinese have not established export controls that meet the international standards.

Despite the foiled Chinese plan and Mr. Levanthal's concerns regarding the sale of heavy water to Pakistan, the administration continues to look the other way. The administration will continue to support China's export of technology and ballistic and missile components to Pakistan.

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.

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 U.S. 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 remain about contacts between Chinese entities and elements associated with Pakistan's nuclear weapons program.

Last week I cosigned a letter with Members from both sides of the aisle, authored by the chairman of the Committee on International Relations, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Gilman), that urged the President to prevent the delivery of reactors and nuclear technology to China. Many of my colleagues share the same concerns that I have outlined today. We are concerned that the Chinese Government has not held true to its promise.

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The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentlewoman from Maryland (Mrs. Morella) is recognized for 5 minutes.

(Mrs. MORELLA addressed the House. Her remarks will appear hereafter in the Extensions of Remarks.)