CHINA NUCLEAR CERTIFICATION THREATENS UNITED STATES TROOPS -- HON. GERALD B.H. SOLOMON (Extension of Remarks - October 08, 1997)
HON. GERALD B.H. SOLOMON
in the House of Representatives
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 1997
- Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, the Clinton administration recently announced that it is preparing to certify that China is in compliance with its international nonproliferation obligations and no longer exporting nuclear weapons-related material to countries such as Iran and Pakistan. According to United States law, such a certification is required before American corporations may trade in nuclear technology with China. Conveniently, this announcement came just a month before the United States visit by China's president Jiang Zemin, at which the certification would be the keystone of a successful summit. China's historical and current actions, however, indicate that it is still and will continue to pursue its dangerous nuclear proliferation activities. In an effort to score public relations points, President Clinton is willing to risk the lives and security of the American troops which will inevitably be called to deal with the crises created by China's nuclear trade in the world's hot spots.
- In an attempt to justify this illogical and foolhardy plan, the Clinton administration claim that certification would engage China's nuclear and military elite into the international nuclear regime. The administration seems to have convinced itself that China's assertions that it is no longer supplying nations like Iran and Pakistan with nuclear technology are genuine. After even minimal analysis, these weak justifications prove themselves meritless.
- The Clinton administration's engagement policy toward China has already proven itself a failure. In 1996, China sold ring magnets, used in centrifuges for the construction of nuclear weapons, to Pakistan. The administration accepted China's promise that it had recommitted to nuclear non-proliferation and decided, consistent with its engagement policy, not to sanction China. Despite this `promise,' however, the Chinese then proceeded to sell a special industrial furnace to an unsafeguarded nuclear facility in Pakistan, falsifying the related documents. China has continued to persist in its dealings with such nations, including a recent incident in which a Chinese merchant ship was found to be transporting illegal chemicals intended for the production of missile fuel from China to the Middle East. China's `commitment' to non-proliferation remains a lie. There is no reason to think that this latest undeserved concession by the United States will succeed in curbing China's dangerous and irresponsible nuclear trade with unregulated nations.
- The predictions of huge profits for the U.S. area is also misleading. China's own nuclear engineers admit that their interest in U.S. nuclear technology will last only as long as it takes them to reverse engineer the technology and produce the plants themselves. This short-term gain for one industry is hardly worth the enormous potential risk to international security and the U.S. troops which are charged with its protection.
- Finally, and most important, certification is unacceptable because China and its nuclear proliferation activities have been and remain to this day a serious threat to the security of U.S. troops in the region. Through its irresponsible and illegal transfers of weapons of mass destruction to unregulated states such as Pakistan and Iran, China contributes to regional instability. As we all know, it is American troops, whether as part of a U.N. force, an Allied mission, or independently, which are committed to quelling regional conflicts in the very areas, including the Middle East and Asia, where China markets weapons. These weapons of mass destruction could easily be used against American troops if the United States were to become involved, as in the Persian Gulf war, in protecting national security obligations abroad.
- Certification that China is in compliance with its nonproliferation obligations is not only undeserved, it is dangerous. By allowing the Chinese to obtain American nuclear technology, the administration will aid China in further destabilizing already volatile regions such as the Middle East, where U.S. troops will be called in to reinstate order. The Clinton administration cannot and will not be allowed to sacrifice the safety of American troops simply to record a public relations victory.