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China aids Pakistani missile program

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Bill Gertz


     China continued to send "substantial" assistance to
Pakistan's missile program during the first half of 2000 and
also aided missile programs in Iran, North Korea and Libya,
according to a CIA report.

     "Chinese missile-related technical assistance to
Pakistan continued to be substantial during this reporting
period," the CIA said in its semiannual report to Congress
on arms proliferation.

     The report said that Chinese missile assistance is
helping Pakistan move rapidly toward full-scale production
of short-range ballistic missiles that are solid-fueled
—meaning they can be launched on short notice.

     "In addition, firms in China provided missile-related
items, raw materials, and/or assistance to several other
countries of proliferation concern — such as Iran, North
Korea and Libya," the report said.

     The Clinton administration last year waived U.S.
economic sanctions against China for its missile sales after
gaining a promise that Beijing would not sell missiles or
components to anyone seeking nuclear-delivery vehicles.

     "The Clinton administration refused to sanction China
even in the teeth of overwhelming evidence of violations,"
said Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project on
Nuclear Arms Control. "The question now is whether the Bush
administration will do anything about it."

     The report comes after a public dispute between the
United States and China over Beijing's development of a
fiber-optic communications network connecting Iraq's
air-defense network.

     The report also said that U.S. intelligence agencies
"cannot rule out" intelligence reports that China is
continuing to assist Pakistan's nuclear-weapons programs —
despite a pledge by Beijing in May 1996 to halt support to
nuclear facilities in Pakistan operating outside
international controls.

     The report covering the first six months of 2000 is
required by law. In addition to Chinese arms proliferation,
the report also states that:

     • Russia sold ballistic-missile goods and
technology to China, Iran, India and Libya, and its efforts
to curb dangerous arms sales to rogue states "remain

     "Russian entities during the first six months of 2000
have provided substantial missile-related technology,
training and expertise to Iran that almost certainly will
continue to accelerate Iranian efforts to develop new
ballistic missile systems," the report said.

     • Moscow also is a major supplier of conventional
arms to China, India, Iran, Syria, Libya and North Korea.

     • Iraq is developing an unmanned aerial vehicle
(UAV) by converting Czech L-29 trainers into pilotless jets.
The UAV could be used to deliver chemical or biological
weapons. Iraq also has rebuilt key elements of its missile
production facilities and is rebuilding chemical weapons

     • Syria is seeking to purchase nuclear material
from Russia that could help Damascus develop nuclear
weapons. A joint Russian-Syrian nuclear cooperation program
was drawn up in January 2000.

     • Libya is expanding its missile program since
sanctions were lifted last year and is seeking a
medium-range-missile capability. Tripoli also is seeking to
acquire material and equipment for biological weapons.
Russia and Libya resumed joint nuclear cooperation last

     Regarding North Korea, another major arms proliferator
identified in the report, the CIA said Pyongyang is
continuing to buy material for its missile program and also
sought to buy technology with nuclear weapons applications.

     "During the first half of 2000, Pyongyang sought to
procure technology worldwide that could have applications in
its nuclear program," the report said. "But we do not know
of any procurement directly linked to the nuclear weapons

     Under the 1994 Agreed Framework, North Korea was
supposed to have halted its nuclear weapons program in
exchange for nuclear power reactors considered less useful
in nuclear arms applications.

     Henry Sokolski, director of the private
Non-Proliferation Policy Education Center, said the report
shows the need for the new Bush administration to do more to
combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction and

     "This report only highlights even further why we not
only will need to strengthen defenses, including missile
defense, but to renew our nonproliferation efforts," Mr.
Sokolski said.

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