HOME About Blog Contact Hotel Links Donations Registration
NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Sunday, November 19, 2006

US Panel Seeks Broader Sanctions Against China

Washington DC: A US Congress-appointed panel on Thursday sought broader sanctions against Chinese firms proliferating unconventional weapons and wanted Beijing to inspect ships plying to or from nuclear-armed North Korea's ports.

The United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission said in its annual report that current sanctions against Chinese companies that proliferate equipment and technology related to weapons of mass destruction should be "broadened and harmonized for increased effectiveness."

The 12-member bipartisan panel wanted Congress to urge the government "to seek agreement with China to carry out inspections at sea of ships bound to or from North Korean ports, and establish a US-China joint operation to inspect for contraband shipping containers" to or from the Stalinist state.

They were among 44 recommendations in the commission's 234-page report to Congress. It was written after eight hearings this year and a flurry of meetings, including with US defense and Chinese government and Communist Party officials and scholars.

Noting that China had contributed at least indirectly to North Korea's nuclear weapons program and aided Iran's atomic activities, the commission warned that "Chinese proliferation threatens US security and potentially could place at risk US troops" operating in East Asia and the Middle East.

In June, the United States imposed sanctions on four Chinese companies linked to providing support for Iran's Aerospace Industries Organization, a key actor in developing Iran's missile program.

All of the firms had been sanctioned previously under US laws.

"Chinese companies and government organizations continue to proliferate weapons, weapons components and weapons technology," the report said.

"Some of these transfers violate China's international nonproliferation agreements, harm regional security in East Asia and the Middle East, and are a measure of China's failure to meet the threshold test of international responsibility in the area of nonproliferation," it said.

Following UN Security Council sanctions in October against North Korea for a nuclear weapons test, China said it would not be involved in interdicting North Korean ships on the open seas, but did agree to inspect cargo passing through its territory.

Washington has acknowledged that China has begun inspecting trucks traveling across China's border to North Korea.

The commission's chairman, Larry Wortzel, in releasing its report Thursday, said that "while China is a global actor, its sense of responsibility has not kept up with its expanding power.

As the world moved to address problems such as proliferation of ballistic missile technology and weapons of mass destruction, "the Chinese government has, at the least, stood in the way, and in some cases actively contributed to the underlying problems," said commission vice chairman Carolyn Bartholomew.

The commission urged Congress to instruct the US government to insist that China take "more significant measures" to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and counter North Korean proliferation activities.

China is the major source of aid and trade for impoverished North Korea.

The commission also asked the US director of national intelligence to establish a more effective program for assessing the implications of China's military modernization and development.

The report said that notwithstanding China's "commendable efforts" to persuade North Korea to remain involved in multilateral talks aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, Beijing has "refused to use its leverage effectively."

It said that China also had refused to cooperate in efforts by a number of nations to persuade or force Iran to halt its military nuclear program.

Web IntelligenceSummit.org
Webmasters: Intelligence, Homeland Security & Counter-Terrorism WebRing
Copyright © IHEC 2008. All rights reserved.       E-mail info@IntelligenceSummit.org