Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is a mounting strategic threat to the United States.
The chief sources of that threat are not only the handful of infamous rogue regimes. The threat also comes from officials in Russia and China who are their chief suppliers and who are selling dangerous weapons and technologies to others hostile to America.
Most tragically and unnecessarily, the global proliferation threat is compounded by the illusions, cover-ups and weaknesses of Clinton administration defense and foreign policies which are heading America and her key allies for the bull's eye of disaster.
I hope that today's hearing can help make a difference in preventing future proliferation Pearl Harbors. I hope your Congressional colleagues will support policies commensurate with the threats. It is necessary to describe threats realistically, to use the instruments of American leverage, to stem the flows of advanced dual-purpose technologies that are the wild card of proliferation, to give teeth to sanctions against violators, and to have military means and deployed defenses available in case sanctions and arms agreements fail. Otherwise you have no chance to "provide for the common defense" or assure "the blessings of liberty."
I understand that today's heating is focused principally on a senior representative of the Clinton administration. As only a few minutes of testimony will be available for critics of the administration's policies, I have prepared a more extended statement for our review. I hope your Committee to hold detailed hearings on these issues. I urge that Congress to establish a "Team B" group of experts to conduct an independent analysis and to report its findings and recommendations.
I would welcome an opportunity to testify in the future and to participate in new assessment efforts. I worked on such issues in the U.S. government for twenty-five years beginning with the Kennedy administration and including with four presidents and ten National Security Advisors' in the White House. I recently completed comprehensive analyses of the threats and alternative responses. My prepared statement covers two interrelated subjects: Part I Proliferation Threats (pp. 1-12) and Part II- China, MFN and Security (pp. 12-24).
The Globe at Risk
The Clinton administration is grossly failing to deal with threatening global realities in its defense and arms control policies. The administration is in denial, colors its official threat estimates and rejects both vigorous enforcement and advanced active defense programs in countering proliferation threats. The administration is wedded to cornerstone myths about a benign new world order, about its ability to deal with dictators as if they were democrats, about inevitably benign strategic partnerships with Russia and China, and about the efficacy of multilateral agreements and international "norms," although these paper regimes lack effective verification and effective sanctions and tend to disarm America rather than rogues. Instead of working at home and abroad to block high-tech flows to rogue states and those who supply them, the flow of enabling technologies for advanced weapons continues virtually unchecked as the Clinton administration too often puts the seeks short-term commercial gains over security and appeasement over enforcement. At the same time U.S. military forces and production as well as research and development levels have been drastically cut even as much of the world is arming.
The strategic reality is that notwithstanding unprecedented hopes and opportunities for a peaceful post-Cold War era, the world remains very dangerous. An unstable and undemocratic Russia and China and a number of rogue states proliferate weapons and violate agreements and are generally rewarded rather than sanctioned by the United States. Missile deterrence has broken down in at least seven recent conflicts in the Middle East, South Asia and East Asia and missiles can now readily reach U.S. forces and allies in numerous hotspots overseas. Sea-borne threats can devastate America's coastal cities with any of the thousands of shorter-range missiles which are available throughout the world today. Militant ideologies and international criminality are increasing. The proliferation of new information technologies and new information warfare threats can rapidly increase others long-range power, potentially devastating key nodes of America's commercial and defense infrastructures. America faces new forms of attack by rogues undeterred either by arms control agreements or by classic notions of deterrence.
In a MAD Maginot Line stance that will inevitably prove costly in American lives and treasure, the administration remains wedded to the doctrine of Mutual Assured Doctrine (MAD) and the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty incorporating that doctrine while it condones much arms control cheating and major arms buildups in Russia and China. It supports the broken ABM treaty even as it vigorously opposes the accelerated deployment of robust national anti-missile defenses required to "provide for the common defense" of the American people, their key allies and their vital interests. One result, as stated starkly by Secretary of Defense William Perry in testimony to the House National Security Committee in March 1996: "We have no capability to shoot down any ballistic missiles fired at the United States." Absent such an insurance safeguard, America doesn't have any counter-proliferation policy either.
I - PROLIFERATION THREAT ASSESSMENTS -- TRUE AND FALSE
There has been a major flap recently about the Clinton administration's cockeyed intelligence estimates on proliferation threats and the President's use of those estimates in vetoing national missile defense deployment programs. The President and his team have downplayed proliferation dangers from China, Russia and various rogue states and have invariably trumpeted "successes."
But on two rare occasions President Clinton did appear aware of the real world dangers his administration's illusory proliferation and defense policies all too often deny. On November 9, 1995, following the wording of a similar directive issued a year earlier (November 14, 1994) he issued an Executive Order in which he declared:
" I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, find that the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons ("weapons of mass destruction") and of the means of delivering such weapons, continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and hereby, declare a national emergency to deal with that threat." (Emphasis added.)
If taken literally, and seriously, the 1995 and 1994 Executive Orders acknowledge grave current strategic threats to the United States from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.
These threats should be matched by requisite policies and programs, to fulfill the Constitutional imperative "to provide for the common defense." On the contrary, however, the administration's proliferation and arms control policies have increasingly been policies of illusion, denial, cover-up, and high-risk gambles.
Considerable insight into the realism or falsity of current Clinton administration proliferation estimates -- and current lack of credibility -- can be gained from comparing them to other official estimates.
Before Bill Clinton took office, Bush administration officials hopeful about a benign new world order that was to emerge from the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the Soviet Union, nevertheless became increasingly concerned about the global proliferation threat. They understood the threat not only with regard to Iraq, against which they prosecuted the Gulf War and in which they found missile and weapons capabilities far more advanced than previously declared by international arms inspectors or anticipated by U.S. intelligence. They also saw the threat as deriving from other rogue states and from other rogues, including potentially some in the dismembered Soviet Union, with its instabilities and its uncertain weapons controls.
The Bush administration's official proliferation estimate presented one year before Bill Clinton took office foresaw a major threat within the decade of the nineties. As presented by Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney in his 1992 annual report to the President and the Congress:
" By the end of this decade as many as nine developing countries could have nuclear weapons, up to thirty could have chemical weapons, ten could posses a biological weapons capability and up to twenty or more could acquire missiles through overt or covert means." (Emphasis added.)
In response to this threat and to the "loose nukes" problems of unauthorized or accidental launches in the states of the former Soviet Union, the Bush administration had proposed initiatives which included development of new post-Cold War technology controls, new counterproliferation efforts (both organizational and programmatic) and deployment, by 1996, of an antimissile Global Protection System Against Limited Attack (GPALS). Russia - 1991-1992
During this same period the clear and present proliferation threat also came to be recognized in Russia and provided a basis for moving ahead on the anti-missile defenses now opposed by Clinton officials and Yeltsin's hardliners.
An example of expressed Russian concern occurred during the last days of the Soviet Union, at an October 1991 conference of U.S. and Soviet experts. There, Lt. General Viktor Samaylov a senior representative of the office of Russian State Counselor on Defense, declared:
" We realistically appraise that by the year 2000, about 15-20 or more governments and states will have their own ballistic rockets and launchers. Half of these governments will have missiles with more than a 5,000, or up to a 5000mile range. I think this is a very serious source of threats...in the future. Therefore, an integration of joint efforts towards an ABM agreement is both full of promise and full of interests for us." (Emphasis added.)
In another example during the initial days of the new Russia, Marshall Yevgeniy Shaposhnikov, Commander of the Joint Armed Forces of the Commonwealth of Independent States declared in February 1992:
" The thing is that we have nonetheless reached the point where roughly a dozen more countries could shortly join the nuclear club. We will have less and less reliable insurance against breaches in the rules of storage and protection and unsanctioned use of nuclear weapons in various regions. All this convinces us that it is time to think about a global defense system." (Emphasis added.)
Similar themes were expressed by President Boris Yeltsin in his January 1992 address to the United Nations and at his summit meeting with President Bill Clinton in June 1992.Early Clinton Administration Warnings -- 1993
In the opening days of the Clinton administration, before the new Clinton orthodoxy was to impose severe policy constraints on objective intelligence assessments, two senior U.S. Central Intelligence officials provided testimony in close agreement with the proliferation assessments of the Bush administration.
In February 1993, Clinton's new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, R. James Woolsey, summarized the threat as follows in testimony to the U.S. Senate:
" More than 25 countries, many of them hostile to the United States and our allies, may have or may be developing nuclear, biological and chemical weapons -- so called weapons of mass destruction -- and the means to deliver them. Aside from the five declared nuclear powers, numerous countries have, or are pursuing nuclear weapons capabilities. Iraq and Iran, for example, have the basic technology to eventually develop such weapons. "More than two dozen countries have programs to research or develop chemical weapons, and a number have stockpiled such weapons, include Libya, Iran, and Iraq. The military competition in the always volatile Middle East has spurred others in the region to pursue chemical weapons. We have also noted a disturbing pattern of biological weapons development following closely on the heels of the development of chemical weapons.
" More than a dozen countries have operational ballistic missiles, and more have programs in place to develop them. North Korea has sold Syria and Iran extended range Scud C's, and has apparently agreed to sell missiles to Libya. Russia and Ukraine are showing a growing willingness to sell missile technology prohibited by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Egypt and Israel are developing and producing missiles, and several Persian Gulf states have purchased whole systems as well as production technology from China and North Korea. Some have equipped these missiles with weapons of mass destruction, and others are striving to do so."
In his testimony Woolsey also touched on massive control problems in Russia, where, he said: "many agencies involved in controlling exports are also responsible for promoting military exports, creating obvious concerns...(and where) the lure of large, illegal profits means that the risk of such transfers will grow."
No doubt understanding that his realistic assessments would prove unwelcome in the Clinton administration bent on denying global threats and on cutting deep into the marrow of U.S. defense capabilities, Woolsey testified: "I have painted a rather bleak picture, but accuracy and candor require bleakness. And unless we reverse the current trends, the future could come to be even more dangerous than these descriptions of current reality."Within days of Woolsey's testimony, Lawrence Gershwin, the Central Intelligence Agency's senior analyst for strategic forces, provided additional perspective which further confirmed the extreme seriousness of the proliferation threats facing the United States and the Clinton administration. In a prepared statement first presented at a Washington D.C. forum in March 1993, and presented in Congressional testimony and to allies in essentially the same form during the next several months, Gershwin provided sober threat estimates on the strategic/ICBMs from proliferation. First he noted the current intercontinental threats from space-launch vehicles which could serve as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs); second, he predicted indigenous development of ICBMs in as few as eight years; and, third he foresaw substantial ICBM infrastructure capabilities within the next decade.
According to Gershwin's early 1993 testimony:
o For space-launch vehicles: "Presently, India, Israel, and Japan have developed space-launch vehicles that, if convened to surface-to-surface missiles, are capable of reaching targets in the United States. Brazil has a space launch vehicle under development that is expected to be test launched within the next five years." o For indigenously developed Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs): "After the United States House of Representatives turn of the century...some nations that are hostile to the United States may be able to indigenously develop ballistic missiles that could threaten the United States. We really cannot give you a precise date -- it could be eight, ten, or fifteen years from now -- when these ICBMs could be deployed.
o For the next decade: "Over the next ten years, we are likely to see several Third World nations establish the infrastructure and develop the technical knowledge required to undertake ICBM and space launch vehicle development." (Emphases added throughout.)
Like Woolsey, Gershwin pointed to Russia and China as proliferators and especially to Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya and North Korea as hostile nations gaining very dangerous capabilities. Russia, for example, had recently "advertised a derivative of the old SS-23 ballistic missile for sale as a civilian rocket" and with North Korea, there was "the real possibility that it has already manufactured enough missile material for at least one nuclear weapon." Like Woolsey in this and other testimony, Gershwin noted that indigenous developments could be speeded up through shortcuts such as acquisition from other countries.
But above all, Gershwin pointed to the historically new dimension of global proliferation problems by comparing the regional proliferation threat, existing even as he spoke, i.e., as Bill Clinton was entering office, to the strategic threat facing the United States in 1960 -- the period of the Cold War, around the time of the Cuban Missile crisis. Gershwin noted that:
" The potential capabilities of some of these countries are comparable to, and in some cases, more lethal than the Soviet threat in 1960. With leaders like Quaddhafi and Saddam Husayn, and in many cases weak, unstable, or illegitimate governments, our classic notions of deterrence hold much less promise of assuring US and Western security." (Emphasis added.)
Clinton Administration to 1994 to Mid-1995
During 1994 and early 1995, with Woolsey still at the CIA, statements by key Clinton administration officials continued to confirm that the proliferation situation was very serious and involved missiles numbering in the thousands.
In 1994, when John Deutch was still the Deputy Secretary of Defense, he reported that: a ballistic missile threat to U.S. territory could emerge by the end of the decade. In March 1995, the theater threat was described in near strategic global terms by Lt. General Malcolm O'Neill, the then Director of the Pentagon's Ballistic Missile Defense Office, as follows:
" The (Theater Missile Defense) TMD threat I think is here. I think we can all agree that beyond the thousand or so that are pointed at Israel, there are probably another three or four thousand that are pointed at other people in the world, being held for use by potential adversaries, some of whom are not so deterrable as was shown when Saddam Hussein used the SCUDS against Saudi Arabia and Israel."
In March 1995, at the Central Intelligence Agency, a new Proliferation Center established by Director Woolsey released a detailed unclassified study of the proliferation threat. This report found a growing threat in its survey of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and chemical, biological, nuclear and advanced conventional weapons. In addition to reporting 31 incidents involving nuclear materials (for the period June to December 1994), the CIA report found that:
" At least 20 countries--nearly half of them in the Middle East and South Asia-already have or may be developing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missile delivery systems. Five countries--North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria...pose the greatest threat because of the aggressive nature of their WMD programs. All five already have or are developing ballistic missiles that could threaten US interests ... Worsening economic conditions and the lure of lucrative foreign sales will encourage other states or firms to engage in WMD-related technology transfers...(and) an even more troubling issue--the potential for smuggling nuclear weapons or nuclear-related material from the former Soviet Union--has contributed to the growing proliferation problem."
Regrettably, the earlier realism, professionalism and candor disappeared with the resignation of Woolsey from the CIA. All three of the realistic strategic factors cited by Gershwin, as well as his historical understanding that current threats could be considered dangerous strategically, as during the Cold War were subsequently considered taboo. No doubt that would have called for tougher anti- proliferation policies, for arms control agreements with mandatory inspections and mandatory sanctions and for accelerated deployment of theater and strategic anti-missile defenses. As political correctness came to dominate, all such warnings came to be denied while the arms control and anti-missile policies became even weaker.
The Tainted National Intelligence Estimate of December 1995
The Clinton administration stalled on new proliferation assessments throughout 1995 as it vigorously opposed Congressional efforts to provide the national defense insurance policy of effective national anti-missile defenses, particularly in the Contract with America and by increasing evidence of public concern about the absence of such defenses in a volatile world.
At the same time, Representative Curt Weldon and others in the Congress pressured the administration for. an updated National intelligence on the proliferation threat, only to encounter a stall and to be told during the year that it would be available in May, in June in July in September, etc.. Members of Congress were astonished to hear about a new NIE and a new bottom line when the NIlE was cited in a December 1, 1995 letter to Senators opposed to efforts to assure deployment of effective anti-missile defenses as rapidly as possible. As reported by Representative Floyd Spence, the Chairman of the House National Security Committee at a February 1996 hearing of the Committee:
" ...a recently completed National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), prepared by the intelligence community, concludes that the threat to the United States posed by long-range ballistic missiles is lower than previously believed.
" A letter by the CIA's Director of Congressional Affairs to Senators Bumpers and Levin, written on behalf of the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), John Deutch, asserts that the previous intelligence community estimate of the missile threat to the United States as reflected in the language of H.R. 1530 (the FY 1996 Defense Act passed by the House and the Senate), 'overstates what we currently believe to be the future threat.' The letter states that it is 'extremely unlikely' any nation with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) would be willing to sell them; declares that the U.S. early warning capability is 'sufficient to provide notice many years in advance of indigenous development"; and judges the prospect of an operational North Korean ICBM within the next five years to be 'very low.'"
It was soon made clear to members of Congress, and reported in official unclassified testimony by Richard Cooper, the Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, that the new NIlE was at odds with prior official estimates:
" First, the Intelligence Community judges that in the next 15 years no country other than the major declared nuclear powers will (indigenously) develop a ballistic missile that could threaten the contiguous 48 states or Canada. Second ... North Korea is unlikely, in the next 15 years, to obtain the technological capability to develop and deploy a longer-range ICBM capable of reaching the contiguous 48 states."
President Clinton cited this unreal, doctored estimate as he vetoed the Defense Bill passed by the Congress.
The NIE's Dangerous Assumptions
The dangerous, and ridiculous, lengths to which the Clinton administration has gone in its efforts to disguise the proliferation threat -- apparently so as to paint its counterproliferation and arms control efforts as successes and to block U.S. strategic defense programs -- are clear from the NIE's unclassified version as subsequently briefed to the Congress by senior CIA officials. Testimony indicates that those who tasked the NIE simply excluded the most likely major threats from the analysis and that the analysis was further compromised by far-fetched assumptions about a benign global environment belied by the well-known realities previously set forth by the U.S. government. The Clinton administration's NIE, and the foundation of its counter- proliferation and related arms control and missile defense policies are fatally flawed by:
1) The exclusion of all "non-indigenous" threats, i.e. threats accelerated by the purchase or theft of weapons and delivery systems.
2) The exclusion of threats to the "non-contiguous" states of the United States of America, i.e. Hawaii and Alaska, except from North Korea.
3) The exclusion of threats from "major declared nuclear powers," Russia and China, which have face "loose nukes" and proliferation problems.
4) The false assumption that "No other potentially hostile country (other than North Korea) has the technical capability to develop an ICBM in the next 15 years."
5) The false assumption that while "any country with an indigenously developed space-launched vehicle (Iraq is one)...could develop an ICBM within five years ... a flight test is a sure detectable sign of a ballistic missile program ... (and) we would almost certainly obtain earlier indicators of an ICBM program."
6) The admission that "foreign assistance can affect the pace of a missile program... (while claiming that) the Missile Technology Regime (MTCR) has significantly limited international transfers, (although) leakage...will likely continue."
7) The false assumption, belied, inter alia, by Russian and Ukrainian sales proposals and by the administration's September 1995 "space-launcher" sales agreement and Russian, Ukrainian and Chinese machinations involving SS-18 ICBM stages that "we expect no country that currently has ICBMs will sell them."
8) The assumption that "we believe that an attack by cruise missiles launched from ships off the (US) coast would be technically feasible, but unlikely."
Since the NIE was issued, former CIA Director Woolsey and Lt. General Malcolm O'Neill, the former Director of the Pentagon's Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, have been among those sharply criticizing the NIE and calling for a new estimate.
Arms Control, Deterrence and War
Arms control treaties and deterrence assumptions based on the effectiveness of treaties lacking mandatory inspections and sanctions and backed by the threat of military power and the deployment of active defenses have proved illusory and MAD Cold War theories of deterrence based on Mutual Assured Destruction have proved dangerously obsolete.
Currently touted "bans" on chemical and biological weapons, nuclear testing and Strategic Arms Reductions (with virtually no eliminations) cannot be effectively verified or enforced but are likely to lead to precipitous U.S. disarmament which is likely to be largely unilateral and highly destabilizing. While the Clinton administration is falling over backward to let Russia's generals make the obsolete ABM Treaty even more restrictive for U.S. defenses against proliferation, the administration is modifying the Conventional Forces in Europe Agreement against the interest of our allies in Turkey and Norway and against our friends in the Baltic nations.
Today, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, China, Russia and other nations take little risk in their violations of major arms control agreements. Programs to produce weapons of mass destruction have been discovered in rogue countries like Iraq, North Korea and Iran notwithstanding the fact that their leaders have signed treaties prohibiting such activity. Seven missile wars have been fought in the Middle East and South Asia, e.g. between Iraq against preponderant U.S. forces, in the war between Iraq and Iran, in Russia's war against Afghanistan and in the Gulf War.
While receiving advanced technologies, trade rewards and billions of U.S. dollars, Russia and China, in particular, continue to abet proliferation toward such states. The rest of the Western world, including the United States has lax technology transfer and trade policies which further exacerbate the problem as technologies and expertise spread rapidly to forces professing deadly hostility to the United States.
Gulf War Lessons
If, as is surely the case, the Clinton administration is wrong in its optimistic arms control and defense assumptions, the price in American lives and treasure will be incalculable.More Americans were killed (28) and wounded (78) by a single Iraqi missile in the Gulf War than by any other action. One missile nearly hit a troopship in port. Israeli cities were terrorized at considerable cost in lives and at a reported cost of a 25% slowdown in Israel's economy. The United States was lucky to face primitive SCUDs with its limited capability Patriot defenses; but as it was the United States Air Force could not find a single SCUD mobile launcher in 5,000 sorties and the only defense we had were the Patriots.
Iraq's SCUDs were not deployed with the chemical and biological warheads which Iraq had developed or the nuclear warheads which it might have had available six months later. With help from Soviet military advisors, Iraq became masterful in the techniques of "maskirovka", deception and denial and continues such efforts. Had Iraq launched missiles with weapons of mass destruction, the Gulf War and thus the fate of Saudi Arabia and Israel and our strategic interest in both, would likely have ended in disaster.
As it was, the war cost $65 billion, most paid by Saudi Arabia. If U.S. and coalition forces had been challenged by weapons of mass destruction, if Kuwait and Saudi Arabian oil had fallen into Iraqi hands, if the regional momentum against Israel had been fueled by Iraqi victory, or if proliferation of cyber and information warfare technologies continues apace, the costs in lives and treasure. would have been far higher and lasting.
Immediate Sea-borne Threats to the United States
A final note should be made on the coverup involved in the Clinton administration's attempts to distinguish threats to the "indigenous" United States involves the current threat from sea-borne missiles. In addition to the intercontinental missiles and their many thousands of warheads which can reach every part of the United States from Russia and from China, most or all of the United States, including Washington D.C. and numerous population centers along our coasts, can be today be hit by ship borne missiles such as SCUDs fired, ample, from Iraqi, North Korean or Iranian ships off our shores.
Lack of land silos or substantial prior testing is no impediment. As noted by Dr. William Graham, a former presidential science advisor and former director of the president's General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament:
" Ballistic missiles do not need to have a long range to threaten the United States. In the 1950's, the U.S. launched several ballistic missiles from the deck of a ship, and sent them to high altitudes where their nuclear payloads were detonated. Most of the population of the U.S. lives near the East and West coasts, and thus is highly vulnerable to a ship-launched missile that could be covertly deployed in the merchant traffic several hundred miles at sea. The modifications to such a ship would not need to be obvious, and a few test missile launches could be performed in remote locations in attempts to avoid detection."The Future?
Wake up America! A mix of aggressive global trends and weak U.S. strategic policies may well bring missile Pearl Harbor catastrophes into America's future.
Above all, the fatally flawed multilateral anti-proliferation and arms control regimes in which the Clinton administration entrusts America's security and sovereignty cannot come close to guaranteeing American security and global stability. They are lowest common defense denominator efforts which cannot substitute for effective American diplomacy backed by effective American defense capabilities.
Without exception, as currently designed and operated by the international community, these paper arms control regimes can be exploited by rogues for cheating and appeasement. They lack the effective verification, effective sanctions, and capable military safeguards which could deter proliferation and provide for America's common defense we need against rogues wherever they may be, including Middle East, Russia and China.
II -- FOCUS ON CHINA, MFN, AND SECURITY A special emphasis is warranted on China. As you and other members of the House of Representatives review proliferation problems and vote on China MFN I would like to emphasize that there is a strong strategic connection between these two issues. If you are serious about proliferation you should not reward China with MFN, given its poor record in proliferation, in trade, and in its aggressive behavior toward its neighbors. I testified on these issues to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations two weeks ago, and would like to draw on some of that testimony today.
The behavior of China's hardliners is getting more dangerous and tough standards, not MFN, are required at this time.
Congressional leadership, American leadership, will be essential for reformers and reform in China in setting high standards in human rights, trade, and in security issues such as countering proliferation and having effective arms control. More than ever, a new generation of reform-minded Chinese needs our witness and our help against an authoritarian and aggressive tide. The high human rights and security standards set by the Helsinki accords and by Reagan administration defense and foreign policies gave just such critical legitimacy and support to the voices of freedom and responsibility behind the Soviet empire's Iron Curtain.
America made a decisive difference in winning the Cold War with the Soviet Union. We can make a key, perhaps decisive, difference as China rapidly heads for great power status. Within the next decade or two China will be one of the world's two or three most powerful nations. It already has the world's third-ranking economy and is increasing its national assertiveness as it builds regional and strategic military might. What America does, or fails to do -- what we stand for as a nation -- will have considerable influence on whether or not China's national assertiveness will be aggressive and whether China can turn from its reactionary Communist ideology to the path of democracy and peace.
A -- TRADE ARGUMENTS AGAINST MFN
Your deliberations on proliferation issues and your vote on Most Favored Nation status for China are strategically interrelated. But even from a strictly trade point of view, I believe the United States should not conduct "business as usual" by extending MFN to China this year, but should elevate standards and step up the pressure across the board in support of reform and responsibility. Even with this week's movement on closing (really closing?) a number of CD factories (as if Chinese authorities couldn't have long done this if the CD's involved political dissent), China remains in breach of numerous agreements and its trading behavior has not met proper international trade standards, much less standards deserving of a "most favored" characterization or the "free trade" or "normal trade rules" title with which some would rename MFN rather than face the realities.
What free 'trade? China has too often acted erratically and illegally, pirating our patents, restricting markets, and engaging in corrupt practices, even as it has built up a $35 billion trade surplus against the United States, as it ships some 40% of its exports to our shores, as it has cost over $ 2 billion in copyright losses and as it has already cost a net loss of some 200,000 U.S. jobs as estimated by AFL- CIO representatives. And why did Clinton administration U.S. Patent Office officials indicate in April of this year that the entire U.S. patent base would be given to China, without restrictions and for free?
These facts indicate that China needs America's technology, investments and markets far more than we need China's and that we are giving away the leverage for assuring real changes in China and in the Chinesese-U.S. relationship. MFN suspension may bring some short term losses in American dollars and jobs. But he costs will be far less than if -- through kowtowing steps such as the unconditional extension of MFN -- America acquiesces in China's trade abuses, cuts the ground out from under the reformers, and sets the United States up for far greater longterm losses as China's ill-gotten gains begin dramatically to undercut our competitive advantage in key economic sectors and begin to cost us far larger numbers of dollars and jobs. And the U .S. flow of technology is already hurting us in China's proliferation, military and economic activities.
How can any American, businessman or not, go along with the immorality of failing to say "no" to China's human rights, business and military abuses? And do Americans really not care that Chinese "People's Liberation Army" companies are established in the United States - including nine in California -- by the very same people whose soldiers run China's slave-labor prison camps.
B - THE SECURITY DIMENSION - TEN REALITY CHECKS
An equal playing field for free trade can only be assured by political freedoms backed by sound security policies. MFN and trade must always be considered in the context of profound moral and strategic questions involving human rights and security. There can be no secure trade, or peace or progress if there is no democracy at home, if neighbors can be threatened abroad, if proliferation to rogue nations can be conducted as state policy, and if agreements cannot be trusted or enforced.
President Clinton said in April that China's greatest security threat to America was its pollution potential from cars -- not its proliferation activities, not its military programs, not its imperial reach. His administration acts under a dangerous post-Cold War illusion that strategic threats have disappeared, that democracies and dictators are not really all that different, that America is unassailable and invincible, and that we and our allies need to do little or nothing to provide for the common defense other than to have reasonably acceptable trade relations and sign ever new paper agreements promising good behavior in arms even if there are no effective verification procedures, sanctions, or U.S. defense programs to back these up. In this setting the administration has virtually ended restrictions on the flow of militarily useful advanced technologies to China, and through China's proliferation, to rogue nations. It is time for reality checks, bottom-up reviews and in-depth hearings. It's time to take the blinders off about dangerous strategic realities about China compounded by high-risk Clinton administration policy gambles.
1. Communist China is Not Democratic and China's Military Leaden Are Not Under Democratic Control.
The overall strategic reality about China is that neither China's political and military leaders nor their programs are under democratic control and that China's proliferation activities and its imperial drive to be a regional and worm power in economic and military terms continues, unchecked by democratic limits and too often appeased by foreign powers including the United States.
The basic economic and political reality is that notwithstanding economic progress especially in Beijing and the coastal cities of Shanghai and Guangzhou, a struggle continues between China's reformers and the old party cadre and clans who resist reform and who seek to maintain a Communist society and tight national cohesion during the transition from Deng's "preeminent leadership."
The People's Republic of China is not a "republic" any more than the People's Democratic Republics of Eastern Europe under Soviet rule. Taiwan and Hong Kong are far more democratic and far more like real republics. The "people" the PRC leadership still most stands for are those of the families or "clans" of the senior Communist Party officials and the senior officer cadre of the People's Liberation Army. They dominate political, economic, cultural and military life. For reasons of ideology, power and privilege they are determined to avoid Mikhail Gorbachev's "perestroika" and "glasnost" reforms, which overthrew Gorbachev and the Communist dictatorship and ended the Soviet Union.In this context, official Chinese claims that China is spending only $5 billion a year on defense are patently untrue. A U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) study published in 1994 provides DoD estimates of over $30 billion and U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency estimates of about $50 billion annually. Expenditures have risen since then and are supplemented by high-technology acquisitions through high priority trade and intelligence operations. In this context too, official Chinese claims that it is not proliferating technologies and/or weapons of mass destruction abroad are also untrue.
There is no ready way of knowing the correct Chinese defense figures or internal program details since there is no free Chinese Congress in Beijing with the power of the purse and of appointment, nor any free press or free political questioning. The Clinton administration all to often simply accepts China's explanations, excuses and behavior and even augments China's emerging strategic threat through advanced technology transfers.
2. China, Proliferation and Broken Treaties A principal immediate problem is that China, along with Russia, has the world's worst record on the proliferation of components and technologies of weapons of mass destruction to rogue states and that the Clinton administration is failing to act to block such activities.
I believe it is time to consider those who supply and support rogues to be considered as rogues themselves. General Brent Scowcroft, U.S. National Security Advisor in the Ford and Bush administrations, has warned: "The Chinese military seems to be willing to sell weapons to anyone who can pay the price ... "including militant states hostile to the United States.
China has accumulated an abysmal record of broken anti-proliferation treaties and broken U.S.
laws, a record which the Clinton administration has abetted through acquiescence. The treaties broken by China include the Treaty on Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Chemical Weapons Convention. U.S. laws broken by Chinese proliferation activities, and generally not enforced by the Clinton administration, include the U.S. Nuclear Prevention Act, the U.S. Arms Export Control Act and the National Defense Authorization Act.
China's role in North Korea's nuclear and missile proliferation activities is a case in point. It is highly suspect since North Korea's nuclear reactors and missiles closely resemble China's. But China has denied knowledge or leverage in North Korea, has opposed tough sanctions against North Korea and has recently refused to participate in multilateral talks on future peaceful developments on the Korean Peninsula. Meanwhile the Clinton administration rewarded North Korean violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty with new reactors, $4 billion, and postponed inspections of suspect sites.
China has supplied nuclear reactors to Algeria and Iran, chemical weapons materials to Syria and Iran, and missiles to numerous countries including Iran, North Korea, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. China's most recent illegal proliferation activities reported early in 1996, include sales to Pakistan involving M-II missiles and 5,000 ring magnets used in gas centrifuges that enrich uranium for weapons and which may have achieved operational status.
But in addition to special problems relating to Pakistan, it appears that China may have a larger strategic purpose in mind particularly with Iran, which its hard-line strategists may well view as a long- term surrogate against U.S. allies and interests in the Middle East. Early in 1996 it was reported that China had delivered ballistic missile components, C-802 missiles, chemical weapons precursors, and nuclear weapons related materials to Iran. In March 1996 The Washington Post reported:
" U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that companies in China are providing Iran with several virtually complete factories suited for making deadly poison gases, an act that may violate a U.S. law as well as China's pledge to abide by a global treaty banning such assistance, according to U.S. officials ... For more than a year, Washington has been monitoring a steady flow of Chinese chemical related equipment to Iran, where it is being installed in new factories ostensibly meant to produce industrial chemicals for commercial use. But U.S. officials say the factories have a covert military use and have already complained to Beijing about the assistance without avail. The influx of Chinese technology is helping to fuel what one U.S. official described as 'the most active chemical weapons program in the Third World."'
With only. rare and brief exceptions, the Clinton administration has opposed application of the commercial and other sanctions established against proliferants under U.S. laws and international treaties. The Clinton administration role has been one of appeasement. Far from utilizing the legal and sanctions instruments at hand, the administration has during the past year reportedly failed to act on five such cases on which the Congress had urged the President to act. On top of everything else, he is failing to obey U.S. law.
As one example, the Clinton administration has opposed the demand of Senator Larry Pressler and others to implement the U.S. sanctions required by the 1993 U.S. Defense Authorization Act (co-sponsored by then Senator Albert Gore) against nations that transfer advanced weapons to Iran or Iraq. Senator Pressler had noted that China's cruise missile deal with Iran violates U.S. law and "is a vital national security matter and demands immediate attention."
3. China's Military Modernization -- Conventional and Strategic Strike Forces.In addition to extending its strategic reach through proliferation activities, China is building up modern strike forces designed for regional and internal military roles and its strategic missiles, already able to reach the United States, are being substantially augmented in their mobility and their offensive capability.The reality of a potential Chinese strategic threat is officially denied in the Clinton administration's public intelligence estimates about future missile threats and is generally ignored by officials and media focused militarily primarily on China's gunboat diplomacy in the South China Sea and on its military exercises and missile threats in and around Taiwan.
The serious reality is that China's announced military doctrine and programs call for highly mobile strike forces, with new generations of ships (including submarines, destroyers and possibly a carrier) and advanced naval and land-based fighter aircraft. These systems, some being acquired from abroad, are to be equipped with modern weapons systems and high-tech command and communications linkages. The strike forces appear to have both regional and internal security functions in asserting Beijing's far-reaching sovereignty claims.
China's vigorous nuclear force modernization program includes a wide range of new strategic and intermediate-range missiles based on land and sea, and appears to be benefiting from new flows of arms and technology from Russia. These systems include new truck-mobile nuclear missiles whose solid-fuel propulsion and enhanced accuracy adds to their high capability and low vulnerability. Numerous intermediate- range missiles, with strategic potential when launched with lower- weight warheads, are hidden in caves and tunnels and include the DF- 4s. Two new ICBM systems are underway to augment the Dong Feng 5/5A (CSS-4) -- the DF-31 and the DF-41. The Julang I (CSS-N-3) missile fired from China's XIA-class nuclear submarines will be augmented by the intercontinental-range DF-31/JL-2.
The launches of advanced Chinese missiles in the vicinity of Taiwan in the summer of 1995 and in March 1996 and the sales of Chinese cruise missiles to Iran which began in the 1980's (and are of the type with which Iraq killed Americans on the USS Stark) and were reported upgraded in April 1996, reflect modern cruise missile capabilities with which China is showing its muscle. These capabilities are reportedly greatly enhanced by the acquisition of Western technology including advanced computers and engine. Some of America's biggest companies others are transferring very sophisticated technologies to China, apparently virtually unchecked by administration constraints. McDonnell-Douglas even permitted Chinese visits to plants where the B- 1 bomber and C-17 strategic transport plane were manufactured and sold advanced "axis" tools used to manufacture aircraft, cruise-missiles and nuclear warheads.
4. China-Russia Strategic Collaboration, SS-18 ICBM Proliferation, and Other New Threats
Collaboration and transfer of advanced weapons and technologies, possibly including SS 18 strategic Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) to China, are increasing between Chinese and Russian military leaders including hardliners who may wish to work against what some perceive as common, democratic enemy, the United States.
Chinese and Russian military leaders have recently described relations as the best in decades, i.e., since the Stalin-Mao alliance. In September 1993 the two countries agreed not to target or use force against each other, the former an agreement China rejected for the United States when proposed by the Clinton administration. Following several high-level exchange visits, Yeltsin's April 1996 visit to Beijing feted a close strategic partnership, with Yeltsin asserting that Russia had not found a single point of disagreement with China. No disagreement on proliferation, nuclear testing, technology theft, human rights abuses, border disputes?
Russia shows no apparent hesitation in providing advanced weapons and technologies, including nuclear technologies, to China's military. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Russian military specialists are in China and a February 1996 Congressional staff study reported recent Chinese purchases from Russia as including: 26 Su-27 fighters (with an additional 26 under negotiation, and by now reportedly under contract, along with a factory to build more), 24 Mi-17 helicopters, 10 IL-76 heavy transport planes, 100 S-3O0 surface-to-air missiles and 4 mobile launchers, advanced rocket engines and missile guidance technology, 100 Klimov/Sarkisov RD33 engines, uranium enrichment technology and nuclear reactors.
An extremely troublesome recent development has been the possible collaboration of senior Russian and Chinese authorities in seeking to transfer to China Russian SS-18 intercontinental ballistic missiles, the most deadly strategic weapon of the Cold War, from a deployment site in Ukraine. All SS-18 missiles are to be destroyed under the START II treaty, but in one of several damaging amendments to this treaty (and to START I), the Clinton administration in September 1995 permitted Russia and Ukraine to sell the stages of such missiles anywhere in the globe as "space launchers," e.g. to Cuba, Iran, etc.? Of course anything that can launch a "peaceful" object into space can also launch a warhead.
In January 1996 Ukraine expelled three Chinese nationals for trying to obtain SS-18s at a missile-production facility in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, presumably with the cooperation of the Russian military personnel at the site who oversee nuclear weapons security and the planned movement of the weapons to Russia. In May 1996, these efforts were boldly renewed and the Clinton administration, caught with its earlier space-launcher concessions seemed paralysed in response.
5. China's Nuclear Weapons Tests
China has recently conducted a series of nuclear weapons tests while the United States has not, and the Clinton administration is augmenting China's nuclear strike capabilities.
The United States and Russia have conducted no nuclear tests since 1992, a fact soon likely critically to impair the effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear deterrent in a world of evident nuclear ambitions among a number of rogue states. During this four year period, China has continued a robust nuclear weapons test program even while asserting support for a future Comprehensive Test Ban (CTB), a top Clinton administration priority for 1996 even though the proposed CTB treaty cannot be effectively verified or enforced. China exploded a one megaton weapon in 1992 and conducted other large-scale nuclear tests in October 1993, in June 1994 (an H-bomb), in October 1994, and in 1995, with indications for further tests in 1996.China points to France as an excuse, but while France conducted six small-scale underground nuclear tests as precursors to preparing to join the Comprehensive Test Ban agreement, France sharply contrasts with China in key ways. All French military forces are under assured democratic civilian control, France has a record of compliance with treaties, French military forces, including its nuclear forces, are being sharply reduced and no French forces are targeted against the United States.
As in other aspects of China's strategic modernization, Clinton administration policy on China's nuclear testing has been one of continuing acquiescence, and even assistance. Early in the administration, for example, according to an October 1994 report in The New York Times: "After China's test last October (1993), President Clinton instructed Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary to begin reviewing options to resume American testing at the Nevada test range (but) when this threat drew no response from the Chinese, the White House conceded that nothing it could do in the form of pressure could dissuade Beijing, and the effort was abandoned."
In October 1994, incredibly, Secretary of Defense William Perry publicly offered advanced U.S. computer technologies to China for the specific purpose of simulating nuclear weapons tests and thus directly increasing potential threats against America's cities if hardliners prevail in China. The computers are reportedly of higher quality than the advanced computers deployed on the U.S. AEGIS cruisers. How can the Clinton administration claim an antiproliferation policy when it undertakes such dangerous gambles?
6. China's Biological and Chemical Weapons Programs
China has a very poor record on chemical and biological weapons agreements and related proliferation activities.
U.S. government reports have repeatedly noted China's violations in the area of chemical and biological weapons programs. The annual compliance report to the Congress issued by the President and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in 1994, noted that: "China's CBM mandated declarations (Confidence Building-Measures of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions) have not resolved U.S. concerns about this program and there are strong indications that China probably maintains its offensive programs." The classified version of this ACDA report reportedly was even more explicit in condemning these treaty violations.
An April 1996 proliferation report issued by the office of Secretary of Defense William Perry, described China's programs as follows: "China has a mature chemical warfare capability and may well have maintained the biological warfare program it had prior to acceding to the Biological Weapons Convention in 1984. It has funded a chemical warfare program since the 1950's and has produced and weaponized a wide variety of agents. Its biological warfare program included manufacturing infectious micro-organisms and toxins. China has a wide range of delivery means available, including ballistic and cruise missiles and aircraft, and is continuing to develop systems with upgraded capabilities."
7. China's Espionage and the Abuse of China's Defense "Conversion" and U.S. Aid China's technological and military espionage activities have been stepped up significantly and are reportedly abetted by the U.S. -China Joint Defense Conversion Commission established in 1994 by U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry and China's General Ding Henggao, Director of the Commission for Science Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND).
The Clinton administration is ignoring serious warnings that China is stealing or buying advanced dual-use technologies which will undermine U.S. military security and our commercial competitiveness in the future. Already two years ago, Senator Larry Pressler warned that: "The Chinese are engaged in an unprecedented espionage campaign and nuclear weapons buildup ... but I can't get senior Clinton administration officials to acknowledge the threat." Representative Nancy Pelosi, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, similarly warned that "China is engaged in a full-court press to obtain American high technology to modernize its military ... " Yet, said Pelosi, Washington has "turned a blind eye to this practice."
In addition to serious economic consequences, including grave long-run damage to the competitiveness of U.S. companies, dangerous security implications derive from China's acquisition of sensitive technologies whose transfer the Clinton administration has encouraged notwithstanding their high military and proliferation potential, e.g. advanced computers, cruise missile engines and satellites. According to Time magazine, U.S. intelligence officials reportedly warned the administration about one such transfey in April 1994, involving the sale of rocket engines, that "China will gain high-quality military technology, which could be used for a new generation of cruise missiles...(which) would put most of the rest of Asia within range of Chinese nuclear attack."
Secretary of Defense Perry has continued to place great confidence in the reliability of General Ding, COSTIND and China's "conversion," and has sought substantial U.S. taxpayer funds to support the COSTIND effort even though this project and its participants are highly suspect. U.S. defense intelligence analysts have identified COSTIND as an espionage organization "attempting to steal foreign technology with military applications, primarily from the United States." General Ding is described in his own official biography as having "organized and coordinated research and production of strategic missiles and the launching of satellites."
China's paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping, has officially defined China's "defense conversion" programs as follows: "Combine military and civilian, combine war and peace, give first priority to military products and make civilian products finance the military." Lt. General James Clapper, the former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has testified to the Congress that the China's the People's Liberation Army (PLA) plays a role in all important Chinese industrial and business organizations, especially those involving joint ventures with foreigners. Through PLA business ventures, and the participation of the Chinese intelligence services in the PLA's dealings, U.S. technology is thus immediately vulnerable to being skimmed off for the purpose of accelerating China's ambitious military modernization programs, programs which may threaten U.S. allies and U.S. forces in the future. According to recent testimony by AFL-CIO officials t least eight businesses have been established in California by the PLA, the same institution which runs China's slave labor camps.
It should be noted that while China enthusiastically uses its military and business relationships as well as its overseas students and business contacts for technological espionage, it severely restricts the flow of even appropriate legitimate information to western businesses. New Chinese restrictions announced in February 1996 led Clinton administration Trade Representative Mickey Kantor to note plaintively that: "This is, of course, an issue of free speech and censorship, but it is also at the heart of our trade relationship ....clearly it is a step in the wrong direction, to state the obvious." Indeed!
8. Chinese Colonialism
In its regional imperial drive, China has used military force not only against Taiwan, but also in pressing its extensive territorial claims in territories of the South China Sea, including the oil-rich Spratly and Pescadores islands, in gun boat battles with Philippine and Vietnamese ships. China is also building bases in Burma and in the Indian Ocean.
In support of its extensive sovereignty claims beyond the mainland, China has engaged in gunboat diplomacy, has sought aerial refueling capabilities, has bought advanced strike aircraft such as Su-27s, and is seeking an aircraft carrier and other force projection capabilities while also building up mobile rapid-reaction forces around China's periphery.
Fighting what senior Communist leaders consider the virus of democracy and self-rule wherever it arises -- whether in Tiananmen, Tibet, or Xinjiang, whether in Taiwan or in Hong Kong -- China rejects international human rights standards anywhere in China's orbit. China has made clear that when it takes over Hong Kong in July 1997 and Macao in 1999 it will remove existing democratic laws, officials and institutions.
China appears to view the 21 million people of Taiwan much like Saddam Hussein viewed the people of Kuwait, which he called Iraq's 19th province and then proceeded to invade. Mainland China has not controlled Taiwan for over a hundred years, since 1895, and has maintained a Communist Party dictatorship while Taiwan has made great strides toward democracy. Taiwan surely has no desire or capability to attack the mainland and represents no conceivable military threat whatsoever, yet Chinese acts of war launched missiles at Taiwan and the international waters around it.
Isn't it time that the people of Taiwan should feel secure in their democracy and their self-determination without fear of attack from China and that the United States fully supports them in this process, as required by morality and by U.S. law? If China can accept "two systems one country," why not "two systems, two countries?" As The New York Times editorialized in February 1996, "There increasingly is a case to be made for Taiwanese independence. Taiwan has not been ruled by China for most of the last century. It has a different political and economic system and its people enjoy a freedom and affluence many rightly fear could not survive under Communist rule."
9. A Range of Potential Threats to America's Security
In addition to proliferation dangers which can rapidly threaten U.S. forces and allies overseas, U.S. intelligence and Defense Department officials have recently noted that China's military build-up, both strategic and conventional, has increasingly serious implications for United States security.
In May 1994, the then head of the Pentagon's Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, Lt. General Malcolm O'Neill, told the Congress that U.S. intelligence analysts expected growing numbers of Chinese missiles to be aimed at the United States and its interests. While China signed a non-targeting agreement with Russia, it turned down Clinton administration requests for such a symbolic arrangement (unverifiable though it would have been) and some analysts report that China's nuclear doctrine calls for use of nuclear weapons not simply for deterrence against hard military targets such as U.S. missile silos, but against "soft" targets, i.e. American cities. The Clinton administration has no arms control sanctions or missile defense programs available or planned which could possibly handle such threats effectively.
In a 1995, the Office of Net Assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense concluded that the pace of China's military modernization program, which includes substantial conventional force improvements, would enable China to defeat U.S. forces in a regional military conflict in Asia by the year 2020.
During the March 1996 Chinese missile launches over and around Taiwan, a Chinese official went so far as to threaten Los Angeles with nuclear attack if the U.S. were to defend Taiwan against invasion from mainland China.
In recent months, Chinese criminal mafias have been caught repeatedly in immigrant smuggling and narcotics operations in the United States. A new level of danger with potential fire-spark implications for America's inner cities occurred in May 1996. Chinese agents, linked to a Chinese company directed by officials tied to China's top leaders, were caught in an FBI sting operation in San Francisco selling 2,000 AK-47 automatic assault rifles and numerous hand grenades and offering Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Americans whom the Chinese apparently assumed were criminals or radical militants likely to use them against American people and institutions in our inner cities.
That's proliferation truly coming home to U.S. cities! Why don't those who favor gun control move to exert gun control over China's guns and China's riot promotion in the United States?
10. In Sum: The Fatal Consequences of Clinton Administration Policy Incoherence toward China and the World
I believe there has never been anything, even during the Carter administration, like the Clinton administration's high-risk gambles and continuing confusion and weakness in U.S. defense and foreign policy. Unless reversed, this administration's policies will bring America major disasters, of which a failed China policy will be just one.
At the height of the 1996 Taiwan crisis, and as China has been caught in a series of dangerous proliferation schemes, a Washington Post editorial captured some of the flavor of the Clinton administration's fatally confused China strategy as follows: "Let's go through this carefully. American intelligence believes China has been selling sensitive nuclear weapons related equipment ... American law and policy prescribe a range of economic and other penalties for these dangerous contributions to nuclear spread. Yet the Clinton administration is described as leaning toward waiving the sanctions. The reason given is to ease tensions with Beijing and to improve the climate in which efforts would be made to persuade China to curb those exports in the future. That's right: The Chinese are the accused violators, and the Americans--as the complaining and injured party-- are backing off...." (Emphasis added.)
The Post editorial continued: "It is already established that the Clinton administration is putting trade over human rights in its China policy, even though the mellowing that trade was expected to bring about is so far not in sight. Now it is being established that the administration is putting trade--'There are tremendous commercial opportunities there, export chief Ron Brown said this week--river nonproliferation as well. The administration's China policy is on the edge of incoherence. The Chinese could be forgiven for thinking that in any given case they ,"..-an press at the margins, play on the differences among the elements of American government and society and have their way by standing firm." (Emphasis added.)
In fostering extraordinarily weak norms for multilateral arms control, including antiproliferation agreements and in all too often appeasing Russia's hardliners on START, national missile defenses, Chechnya (Boris Lincoln?), economic reform, etc. the Clinton administration continues to set very poor policy precedents. They undercut reformers and appease Communist nationalists, not only in Russia but also in a China unaccustomed to keeping agreements or meeting international human fights standards.
Unwilling to punish China's proliferation activities and violations of numerous existing arms control agreements, the Clinton administration has actually stepped up the flow of advanced dual-purpose technology to China and pushed for new arms control agreements which China is as unlikely to heed in areas of nuclear testing, chemical weapons, retargeting, etc.. Trade, and unfair trade at that, has been elevated far above the efforts to improve the human fights, proliferation and military abuses that should have been at the core of a developing U.S.-Chinese relationship.As Deng fades from the scene, it is especially necessary for America to stop treating China's leaders like children and instead seriously to step up to China's hardliners and to buttress the cause of the reformers and fundamental reform. It is essential to hold China to fulfillment of its international obligations in human fights, trade and arms control. We need new policies, new programs and a Pacific Democracy Defense Program and more.
On proliferation issues, as on China policy generally, U.S. appeasement will only increase the militancy and leverage of hardliners in China and elsewhere around the world. Unless reversed, current policy is sure to set back the cause of reform, responsibility and peace, and to increase potential threats from China and the rogues to whom it is proliferating dangerous military technologies. These threats endanger not only key U.S. allies in Asia, but to vital U.S. interests in that region and to the United States homeland itself.