DIVISION C--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS (House of Representatives - June 10, 1997)

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California [Mr. Rohrabacher].

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume. Again I would like to offer my congratulations to the gentlewoman from Georgia [Ms. McKinney] for the great job that she did in providing this code of conduct legislation. Again, I was very proud to stand by her and work with her in that effort.

On this particular amendment, it has something to do with a different part of the world in terms of setting standards just for the United States. This particular amendment that I am offering would deny all $95 million in U.S. foreign assistance funding to Russia during fiscal years 1998 and 1999 if the Russian Federation transfers supersonic SSN-22 missiles to China.

This advanced cruise missile system endangers the lives of countless American service men and women and could alter the balance of power in key strategic areas such as the Straits of Taiwan and the Persian Gulf. This sunburn missile was created by the Russians to attack American ships, especially American ships that are equipped with advanced Aegis sea and air radar battle management systems. The SSN-22, a supersonic sea skimmer missile , can be fired by a ship or from land and it is extremely difficult to defend against. A long-range version of that missile can damage an aircraft carrier.

In December 1996 a secret weapon sale agreement was completed in Moscow during the state visit of the Chinese premier. The Chinese began seeking to acquire this missile in direct response to the deployment of U.S. warships in the Straits of Taiwan during China's attempt to militarily intimidate Taiwan during its national elections.

The immediate impact of the transfer of SSN-22 missiles will give the Chinese significant offensive advantages over regional navies and further their ambitions in the South China Sea and other areas of the Pacific. A serious long-term effect is the Chinese ability to reverse engineer the SSN-22 technology, thus to develop lethal parity with the United States Navy.

Another immediate grave threat is the potential transfer of SSN-22's from China to Iran. China has become the primary arms source for the Iranians, to include the shipments of ballistic missiles and chemical weapons technologies. An SSN-22 mounted on a mobile land platform would be extremely difficult to defend against and would threaten any of the ships in the Straits of Hormuz.

The Government of Russia has gone beyond the threshold of acceptability in its conduct by offering to sell this deadly missile to China. My amendment will send a strong message that in return for the generosity shown by American taxpayers to assist Russia during this time of need, the Russian Government must respect the national security of the United States and the lives of our young men and women in uniform.

Let me be very clear on this, Mr. Chairman. This missile was designed by Russia during the cold war to kill American sailors and American airmen. This missile , if it is transferred to the Chinese, will lead at least to the situation where our people are being put in jeopardy. If we are giving $95 million in aid to Russia while they are sending that type of weapons system to a potential enemy, we are making a mistake. Shame on us. Not shame on them.

My amendment simply says, unless they cease and desist from the transfer of this deadly weapons system to the Chinese, they have gone over the threshold of acceptability and we will be cutting off all of our aid to the former Soviet Union, to Russia.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.