CHINA TASK FORCE INVESTIGATION (Senate - July 16, 1998)

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Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I was disappointed by some of the actions of the majority leader's statement the day before yesterday in which he provided an update on the Senate inquiry into U.S. policy on satellite exports to China.

In particular, some charged that the majority leader was engaging in partisan politics when he simply presented some of the things that we have learned in the 13 hearings and the numerous briefings and meetings held on that subject to date.

As a member of the task force appointed by the leader, I can state conclusively, Mr. President, that this investigation is driven by a desire to safeguard our Nation's security, and it is not motivated by partisan politics.

Let's examine the five main points that the leader raised in his remarks.

Point one: The Clinton administration's export controls for satellites are inadequate and have not protected U.S. security.

Many of us have been dismayed at the lax implementation and the irregular application of safeguards during launches of American satellites in China. For example, the Clinton administration has failed to require Defense Department monitors for every Chinese launch of U.S. satellites. Monitors are typically Air Force officers who are required to be present at all meetings with the Chinese launch service provider and the American satellite exporter. The monitor's presence is necessary because sensitive know-how can be inadvertently disclosed.

Chinese officials make no secret of their desire to obtain high-tech information, and the incentive for an American company to provide information necessary for a successful launch of a multimillion-dollar satellite is great,

therefore a monitor can be extremely helpful in reducing the amount of information that is shared with Chinese engineers and scientists.

Although Clinton administration officials routinely note the importance of monitors in testimony and briefings, under the current system, monitors are not required by statute, regulation, or international agreement. In fact, during three satellite launch campaigns conducted in China since 1995, monitors have not been present at any stage of the process. In three other launch campaigns in China, though not required by the government, monitors have been present only for the launch, but not the important technical exchange meetings dealing with mating the satellite to the launch vehicle and ensuring that it survives the stressful launch environment and is delivered intact to the intended orbit.

The majority leader's point that export controls on satellites are inadequate is not merely endorsed by the members of the task force. As the New York Times said in an editorial on the issue on May 26, `In its eagerness to improve relations with Beijing and expand American commerce in China, the White House has been careless about enforcing security protections.' One month later, the New York Times again commented on the subject in another editorial on June 19 which stated,

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Evidence keeps mounting that the Chinese Army is exploiting flawed American export controls to acquire sophisticated satellite communications technology for military and intelligence use. The Pentagon and State Department are now questioning the pending sale of a Hughes communications satellite whose upgraded design would let Chinese authorities eavesdrop on mobile telephone conversations at home and abroad. President Clinton should suspend this sale and the licensing of any more satellite deals with China until export control rules are tightened. In particular, he needs to put the State and Defense Departments back in charge of export approvals and diminish the role of the Commerce Department.

That is the New York Times speaking. That is not the majority leader. It is obviously a sentiment he shares.

This sentiment is shared on a bipartisan basis. During a hearing of the Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on International Security, Senator Cleland criticized the administration for shifting responsibility for regulating

satellite exports from the State Department to the Commerce Department stating, `I've got more and more concern about Commerce becoming the lead dog here. I'd rather hedge my bets and put national security first and commerce second.'

The second point made by the leader day before yesterday was that in violation of stated United States policy, sensitive technology related to satellite exports has been transferred to China.

Mr. President, this is also an accurate, objective statement that is widely shared. Additional hearings will be necessary to continue to gauge how much damage has been done to United States national security, but several launches have occurred in China without the necessary safeguards and at least two analyses conducted by American companies of failed launches have been sent to China without first being reviewed by the State or Defense Departments.

As the Washington Post said on May 31,

There is little dispute that some American know-how inevitably seeped across to the Chinese, despite strict rules covering what technology United States companies could share with the Chinese and despite the monitoring of contracts by United States Air Force specialists. The argument is over how much seepage occurred and whether any of it helped China improve its military rockets.

Again, the majority leaders' comments are vindicated by the press.

The third point made by the leader day before yesterday was that China has received military benefit from United States satellite exports.

Additional information in this regard may be uncovered as the Senate's inquiry continues, but some key information has already come to light. Last month, in a front page story published on June 13, the New York Times broke the news that,

For the past two years, China's military has relied on American-made satellites sold for civilian purposes to transmit messages to its far-flung
army garrisons, according to highly classified intelligence reports. The reports are the most powerful evidence to date that the American Government knew that China's Army was taking advantage of the Bush and Clinton Administrations' decisions to encourage sales of American high technology to Asian companies.

Again, the majority leader was not wrong. He is right.

The fourth point made by the majority leader was that the administration has ignored overwhelming information regarding Chinese proliferation and has embarked on a de facto policy designed to protect China and United States satellite companies from sanctions under United States nonproliferation law.

This is another objective observation about what we have learned from the hearings conducted so far. And again I turn to reports in the media in confirmation of the majority leader's point. As the Washington Post reported on June 12,

The former chief of the Central Intelligence Agency's weapons counter-proliferation efforts told a Senate committee yesterday that the Clinton Administration's determination not to impose economic sanctions on China led it to play down persuasive evidence that Beijing sold nuclear-capable M-11 missiles to Pakistan. `There's no question in my mind' that China sold 34 M-11 missiles to Pakistan in November 1992, Gordon Oehler, former director of the CIA's Nonproliferation Center, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Intelligence agencies are `virtually certain' the sale occurred he said, but `intelligence analysts were very discouraged to see their work was regularly dismissed' by Clinton aides.

Yet despite this overwhelming evidence, the Clinton administration has not imposed sanctions and as a result of the transfer of authority over satellite exports from the State Department to the Commerce Department, satellite exports have been shielded from the effects of sanctions. Prof. Gary Milhollin made this point in testimony to the Armed Services Committee on July 9, stating,

One of the main effects of this transfer has been to remove satellites from the list of items that are subject to U.S. sanctions for missile proliferation. In effect, the transfer has given Chinese firms a green light to sell missile technology to Iran and Pakistan. Chinese companies can now sell components for nuclear-capable missiles without worrying about losing U.S. satellite contracts.

The administration has been interested in shielding China from the effects of United States nonproliferation sanctions for some time. According to a classified National Security Council memo reprinted in the Washington Times in March, the administration believed one of the benefits of United States support for China's membership in the Missile Technology Control Regime would be `substantial protection from future U.S. missile sanctions.'

And again what the majority leader said is on the record. It is vindicated. It is not wrong.

The fifth and final point made by the majority leader day before yesterday was that new information has come to light about China's efforts to influence the American political process and that the Attorney General should name an independent counsel to investigate.

I serve on the Intelligence Committee which recently received classified testimony from the Attorney General and the Director of Central Intelligence on this subject. While obviously I will not comment on that testimony here, I simply point out that over the past few months a great deal of troubling information has been published on the subject in the press. As the Senate investigation proceeds we may uncover additional information in this area, but in my view the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate these allegations is already long overdue.

As I have tried to demonstrate today, attempts to portray the majority leader's statement or the work of the task force as partisan politics are simply invalid. The protection of our nation's security has been--and should be--our only concern. I urge my colleagues to examine the Record before leveling such charges. Although the Senate investigation will continue, it is clear that we must change the way we handle export controls on sensitive technology or risk further jeopardizing America's security.

The bottom line, Mr. President, is that when the majority leader made his controversial remarks, he was right and the record needs to reflect that.

Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.

The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

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Mr. CONRAD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

END