TRANSFER OF NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY TO CHINA (House of Representatives - October 07, 1997)

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

Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, today it was reported that the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. Robert Einhorn, was in Beijing to discuss the transfer of nuclear technology to China. The report stated that Mr. Einhorn was ready to negotiate and put into effect a 1985 accord that allows American firms to export nuclear technology to China.

Mr. Speaker, when the United States and China signed this accord in 1985, Members of Congress were concerned with China sales of nuclear weapons technology to third countries, and in response to the accord, Congress quickly passed legislation that required the President to first certify that China has not sold or transferred nuclear technology to countries that are not subject to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Last month, the Clinton administration began preparations to certify that China has stopped its exportation of nuclear technology to unregulated countries. This is the first time in 12 years that a United States President has moved toward such a certification.

What is unfortunate, Mr. Speaker, is that the administration is willing to overlook China's recent transferance of nuclear technology to unregulated nuclear facilities in Pakistan and Iran.

Surprisingly, the administration has accepted assurances by Beijing that it would `cancel or postpone indefinitely' several projects, especially secret nuclear facilities in Pakistan and a uranium conversion facility in Iran as the basis for the United States granting the certification.

Mr. Einhorn recently told lawmakers that China has canceled the Iranian project. But, ironically, China gave the blueprint to Iran to construct the facility.

Mr. Speaker, the administration would be granting certification despite CIA findings that the Chinese have sold 5,000 ring magnets to Pakistan for its uranium enrichment facility. And ring magnets, I should say, can be used in the building of nuclear weapons.

Furthermore, the administration is willing to ignore China's continued support of Pakistan's commitment to build a plutonium production reactor and a plutonium processing plan. Despite the protests of

United States lawmakers, China continues to assist Pakistan in building a sophisticated nuclear arsenal. Unfortunately, this arsenal is not subject to international inspection.

In fact, the administration continues to look the other way as China continues to exploit technology and ballistic and missile components to Pakistan. I would like to remind my colleagues that Pakistan is not a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and bans investigators from several of its nuclear facilities.

Mr. Speaker, why is the administration willing to grant certification? Eight days ago, the Chinese Prime Minister signed regulations that would limit the export of nuclear technology. Is the administration satisfied that 8 days is the sufficient amount of time to show China's commitment to change its practices for the last 12 years? I certainly do not think so.

Nuclear proliferation experts are concerned as to whether the Chinese Government even has the ability or is willing to enforce these regulations.

Mr. Speaker, United States officials have expressed concern that the upcoming China-United States summit, which is supposed to take place later this month, would be a failure if there is not some positive development in our trade relations. And this is particularly true since the process of including China in the World Trade Organization may not be completed by the time of the summit.

The idea, from what I can gather, is that the U.S. certification regard to nuclear technology exports would somehow salvage the summit. But this, I would submit, is the wrong reason for granting certification.

Is the upcoming summit so important, Mr. Speaker, essentially, that we, as Members of this body, should be willing to compromise the United States position on nuclear proliferation and grant China this certification? I do not think so. I think that is an inappropriate way to proceed.

Members of this body have supported and at times insisted that China receive United States peaceful nuclear technology only if China halts all nuclear exports to nations with unregulated nuclear facilities. Earlier this year, a letter was sent to President Clinton by Members of Congress stating that China has not earned or behaved in a manner which warrants such certification.

Mr. Speaker, basically, I am asking, and I hope that many of my colleagues will insist, that the administration change its mind and not grant the certification to China. I am not willing to compromise the United States position on nuclear proliferation simply to appease the Chinese Government in this upcoming Sino-United States summit. I think it is the wrong way to proceed, and hopefully many of us in Congress will continue to insist that we not proceed in that direction.

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