Tracking Number:  300844

Title:  "US Open to Dialogue with China on MTCR Related Sanctions." TV interview of Under Secretary of State Lynn Davis regarding the imposition of sanctions against China for its violation of the Missile Technology Control Regime. (930826)

Date:  19930826


08/26/93 *

U.S. OPEN TO DIALOGUE WITH CHINA ON MTCR RELATED SANCTIONS (Transcript: MacNeil/Lehrer interview with Davis) (1980) (From the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, August 25, 1993, co-produced by EBC, GWETA and MACNEIL/LEHRER PRODUCTIONS. Copyright (c) 1993 by Educational Broadcasting Corporation and GWETA.)

Washington -- The U.S. government is receptive to dialogue with Chinese officials regarding China's violations of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), according to Lynn Davis, the undersecretary of state for international security affairs.

The United States has imposed sanctions that prohibit U.S. companies from selling missile-related parts and technology to China, on the basis of evidence that China sold Pakistan components for missiles capable of carrying at least a 500-kilogram payload for a distance of at least 300 kilometers. This is a violation of MTCR guidelines, which China had agreed to adhere to in 1992.

During a televised interview August 25 on the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, Davis said that while she had no reason to expect Chinese officials to initiate talks regarding the MTCR sanctions, "I can still hope that we can begin such a dialogue."

Following is a transcript of the Davis interview with Jim Lehrer on the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour program of August 25:

(begin transcript) JIM LEHRER: We go first tonight to the China sanctions story. The State Department said today China sold Pakistan components for a missile that can carry a nuclear warhead nearly 200 miles -- a charge both countries deny. But the U.S. government will now prohibit American companies from selling some high-tech items to China. We get the details now from the State Department official in charge of these matters, Lynn Davis, the undersecretary for international security affairs.

Secretary Davis, welcome. LYNN DAVIS: Good evening. LEHRER: What exactly did the Chinese do? DAVIS: The Chinese have transferred some items that the Pakistanis could use to help build missiles. We have spent the last few months looking at the evidence, and yesterday determined that that activity had occurred. Under our law, sanctions should be put in place.

LEHRER: What is the evidence? DAVIS: Well, the evidence is a series of evidence that has been worked out through various sources in our intelligence community. We have done this after considerable time and looking in considerable detail. In addition, we've probed for various answers from China and from Pakistan as to what has been happening in terms of those activities. So far, they haven't been able to clarify those activities. Based on the evidence that we've been able to collect from a variety of different sources, we've made this determination.

LEHRER: Is this evidence such evidence that you know for a fact that those missile components went from China to Pakistan? There's no question in the minds of you and the other officials of the U.S. government?

DAVIS: We have sufficient information to make that determination. LEHRER: And is it the kind of information that would hold up in court? Is it 'American kind' of court information? Or is it intelligence speculation? Or is it real stuff?

DAVIS: It's real stuff. It's a combination of various kinds of intelligence that we have and that we've looked at and evaluated, and it would stand up in court, if I were to take it to court.

LEHRER: How do you explain, then, the blanket denials today from the Chinese and the Pakistanis?

DAVIS: I've been hearing those denials now for some matter of months since seeking to clarify what it is that these activities actually encompassed. It would have been appropriate for them to help me understand that evidence, were they willing to engage in that dialogue. But, at this point, failing that dialogue, the evidence is conclusive in our minds.

LEHRER: In other words, you went to China and you sat down with the government officials and you said, "Look, here's our evidence that you folks did this." And they said, what?

DAVIS: They said that they had not had any activities that would violate their commitments to this missile technology control regime. And asked us to trust them.

LEHRER: All right. In other words, they didn't deny that the specific things that you said they did; they just said they weren't in violation of this law?

DAVIS: That's correct. And then, we're not prepared to continue a dialogue on the mounting evidence that we had collected.

LEHRER: Did you tell them, "Well, look, friends, if we don't get satisfaction here, and based on our evidence, that we are going to move for sanctions against your country"?

DAVIS: We clearly led them to understand the nature of our law -- the legislations. And when it became the case that we had sufficient evidence, that sanctions would go into place -- that we had no flexibility under the law, but to make that determination.

LEHRER: Now, what is that law? DAVIS: Well, the law, passed a couple of years ago, seeks to carry out overall non-proliferation goals of preventing the transfer of missiles and missile technologies. It's to carry out these goals that are part of the Missile Technology Control Regime. The law essentially makes it a violation of that law if these activities occur around the world.

LEHRER: Of course, we don't have the right -- the United States -- to say, "China, you can't sell any." China can sell anything it wants to to Pakistan. What the U.S. law says -- is it not -- is "if you do that China, you're going to suffer sanctions," correct?

DAVIS: That's absolutely correct. LEHRER: All right. And the sanctions that you all announced today -- what are those exactly?

DAVIS: The sanctions go to the nature of the determination that we made. We made a determination that items related to M-11 missiles were transferred. And so, following from that determination, we will be denying exports to the entity that carried out that transfer --

LEHRER: Meaning China? DAVIS: In China -- as we will be raising the cost to that entity of having carried out that activity.

LEHRER: Meaning that all that cannot be sold to China as a result of this are things that relate to this M-11 missile?

DAVIS: Well, it's a fairly technical loss. So, let me try to explain to you in fairly simple terms, what it is that will happen. Activities and exports that are items on a list that contribute to the production of missiles --

LEHRER: Who made up the list? DAVIS: The list is constructed by members of the Missile Technology Control Regime. So, there's a list of items --

LEHRER: Missile -- what is that? A group of technicians from the U.S. government from the Defense --

DAVIS: No, it's a group of suppliers around the world who seek to sell these missiles and advanced technology.

LEHRER: And the deal is that a "643-B Boom-Boom" can, if used -- could be used to help in a missile. And that is on this list -- even though it could also be used for non-missile things, is that right?

DAVIS: That's correct. And if it's on the list, we will not export an item on that list to the entity that has carried out the activities that we've sanctioned.

LEHRER: So, essentially, what the sanction is-- it only means you can't do this -- we're not going to help you do this again. That's really what it boils down to. They don't suffer any other sanction, do they?

DAVIS: That's right. We're saying to the entity, "You have conducted activities inconsistent with our goals for preventing the proliferation of missiles and technology. American companies can't make such transfers. Russian companies now -- because they've agreed to these provisions -- can't make transfers. And now, the Chinese have done this. And so, what we're saying is, for those activities they will bear some costs.

LEHRER: Now, so will some American companies, will they not? I read something somewhere today that this could involve $200, $400 million worth of technical parts that might not go to China because of this. Is that correct?

DAVIS: We can't predict with certainty, because we will be denying future licenses. But as we look back to the kinds of activities over the past two years that we associated with items on this list, we see values of approximately $400 to $500 million a year. But that depends on how the market reacts to the fact of the sanctions. And so, it's on the order of that, but I wouldn't like to predict precisely what it would be.

LEHRER: You're an expert in these areas and you have access to even other experts. Does this sanction today mean that, for all practical purposes, China can no longer get these parts, or they just can't get them from the United States? In other words, it is a formality or is it a real action against them?

DAVIS: The practical effect is that the Chinese will not be able to launch American-made satellites. And that's the effect of all of the technical description that I've just been through with you. I was trying to explain the law, now I'll explain the practical effect. The practical effect is, the Chinese will no longer be able to launch American satellites or satellites with American components.

LEHRER: Is that a big deal to China? DAVIS: Well, it is a big deal because the Chinese have wished to open up their space launch market to the world. And indeed, over the past few years, have sought to enter and have access to that market. So, it will bear cost to China by these sanctions.

LEHRER: All right. Now what -- let's say that you go back to your office from here tonight and the phone's ringing and it's a representative of the Chinese government and says, "Okay, Secretary Davis, we got your message finally. We won't do that any more." What do they have to do to cleanse themselves in a way to get these sanctions lifted?

DAVIS: Well, the first thing they have to do is begin to discuss with me the activities that they have had underway over these past few months and convince me that they haven't made these illegal transfers -- if, indeed, that is continued to be what their position is -- or work with us to understand how it is that they could commit themselves in the future not to ever do it again.

LEHRER: And if they commit themselves to never do it again, these sanctions would be lifted?

DAVIS: If they commit themselves to carry out the provisions of this missile technology control regime in a binding commitment to the U.S. government, that would be the basis upon which we could wave these sanctions.

LEHRER: Based on past history -- correct me if I'm wrong on this, but it appears at least that the Chinese don't go for these things in a big way. They don't like for the United States to take sanctions against them. They see it as a kind of a threat to their independence, and they'll run their country and let the rest of the countries run theirs. My question is, do you expect them to say, "Okay, we got the message. We'll do what the United States wants."

DAVIS: I would hope that that would be their response to what's happening. LEHRER: Do you expect it -- based on your experience with them? DAVIS: So far, I have no reason to expect it. But I can still hope that we can begin such a dialogue.

LEHRER: All right. So, you'll answer the phone at least? DAVIS: I'll answer the phone. LEHRER: Okay. Secretary Davis, thank you very much. DAVIS: Thank you very much. (end transcript) (From the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, August 25, 1993, co-produced by EBC, GWETA and MACNEIL/LEHRER PRODUCTIONS. Copyright (c) 1993 by Educational Broadcasting Corporation and GWETA.)