STROM THURMOND NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 1999--CONFERENCE REPORT (Senate - October 01, 1998)

[Page: S11230]

SEC. 1512

Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I wish to enter into a colloquy with the distinguished senior Senator from South Carolina, the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, after whom this defense authorization bill is named.

Section 1512 of this bill requires the President to certify to Congress 15 days prior to any export to the People's Republic of China of missile equipment or technology, as defined in the Annex to the Missile Technology Control Regime, that such export is not detrimental to the U.S. space launch industry, and that such export will not measurably improve China's missile or space launch capabilities.

The intent of this section is not to prevent the export of commercial communications satellites to the PRC, consistent with U.S. law and national security and foreign policy interests, nor to harm our domestic satellite industry. The purpose of this section is to ensure that exports of such satellites and related technology to China will not harm U.S. security. As long as sufficient export controls are in force and are being enforced, such exports are consistent with our national security.

Furthermore, this certification requirement for exports to China is not intended to prevent the export of commercial technology for emergency repair of civilian equipment, such as navigation systems required for safe flight of passenger aircraft. If a U.S.-made aircraft requires emergency repair or replacement of its navigation system while in China, we would not want to delay such required repair unreasonably.

I wish to ask the Chairman if he shares this view of Section 1512.

Mr. THURMOND. Mr. President, I agree with the view expressed by my colleague, the Ranking Minority Member of the Armed Services Committee. He has stated correctly the views of the Senate and the House in agreeing to Section 1512 during the conference on the defense bill.

With regard to concerns that the requirement for a 15-day advance certification concerning the export of items listed in the MTCR Annex to the PRC would delay the ability to provide spare parts for in-service civilian commercial aircraft in an emergency while in the PRC, it is not the intent to delay the export of items for emergency repair of in-service civilian commercial aircraft while in the PRC.

This view, however, should not be mistaken as a green light to stockpile technology and spare parts which are on the MTCR Annex above what is necessary to provide emergency service for in-service commercial aircraft.

Mr. LEVIN. I thank the distinguished Chairman of the Armed Services Committee for helping to clarify the intent of this provision.