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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

DATE=5/28/98
TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
NUMBER=5-40517
TITLE=CHINA / ISRAEL / MILITARY
BYLINE=ROGER WILKISON
DATELINE=BEIJING
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:  
INTRO:  ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU -- ON A 
FOUR-DAY OFFICIAL  VISIT TO CHINA -- WAS IN SHANGHAI THURSDAY, 
TRYING TO BOOST HIS COUNTRY'S  AGRICULTURAL AND HIGH-TECHNOLOGY 
EXPORTS TO THE BOOMING CHINESE MARKET.   V-O-A'S ROGER WILKISON 
REPORTS THERE IS ONE ASPECT OF ISRAEL'S SALES TO CHINA THAT 
NEITHER GOVERNMENT IS WILLING TO TALK ABOUT.
TEXT:  MR. NETANYAHU SAYS A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP IS DEVELOPING 
BETWEEN  CHINA AND ISRAEL, SINCE THE TWO COUNTRIES ESTABLISHED 
DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS IN 1992.  TIES HAVE BLOSSOMED AS CHINA HAS 
SOUGHT INVESTMENT AND TECHNOLOGY TO SPUR ITS DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS.
SPEAKING TO REPORTERS WEDNESDAY, THE ISRAELI LEADER HELD OUT 
BRIGHT HOPES FOR FUTURE COOPERATION BETWEEN THE TWO NATIONS.
                     /////NETANYAHU ACT/////
 WE ARE VERY FORTUNATE THAT CHINA AND ISRAEL --THE CHINESE PEOPLE
AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE THAT ARE TWO OF THE OLDEST PEOPLE ON EARTH,
WITH ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS -- HAVE DEVELOPED THE CAPACITY TO 
DEVELOP DYNAMIC SOCIETIES THAT CAN SEIZE THE FUTURE.  AND WE 
BELIEVE THAT THE COOPERATION BETWEEN US CAN BRING PROSPERITY AND 
PEACE TO OUR PEOPLES AND TO OUR NEIGHBORS AS WELL.
                        /////END ACT/////
WHILE IN BEIJING, MR. NETANYAHU OPENED AN AGRICULTURAL TRAINING 
CENTER AND  STRUCK AN AGREEMENT TO ESTABLISH A FACILITY TO 
SHOWCASE ISRAELI MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY.  HE SAYS ISRAEL'S 
HIGH-TECHNOLOGY BASE IS SUFFICIENTLY FLEXIBLE TO DESIGN PRODUCTS 
ACCORDING TO CHINA'S NEEDS.
ONE ISRAELI HIGH-TECH EXPORT THAT THE CHINESE HAVE DEVELOPED A 
TASTE FOR IS MILITARY EQUIPMENT.  ACCORDING TO WESTERN EXPERTS IN
BEIJING, THE SECRET TRADE IS WORTH MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED MILLION 
DOLLARS A YEAR.  THEY SAY CHINA IS THE LARGEST CUSTOMER IN ASIA 
FOR ISRAELI MILITARY-RELATED EXPORTS AND THAT ISRAEL IS SECOND 
ONLY TO RUSSIA IN THE VOLUME OF ITS MILITARY SALES TO CHINA.  BUT
MR. NETANYAHU IS UNWILLING TO TALK ABOUT THE THRIVING TRADE.
                     /////NETANYAHU ACT/////
 THERE IS A LONG-STANDING HABIT OF ISRAELI PRIME MINISTERS NOT TO
DISCUSS MILITARY SALES, AND I CERTAINLY WOULDN'T WANT TO BREAK 
TRADITION.
                        /////END ACT/////
THE CHINESE ARE EVEN MORE CLOSE-MOUTHED THAN THE ISRAELI LEADER 
ON THE SUBJECT.  BUT WESTERN MILITARY ATTACHES IN BEIJING SAY 
COOPERATION BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES IN THE DEFENSE FIELD RUNS 
DEEP.  THEY SAY THE AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES OF ISRAEL ARE INVOLVED IN
CHINESE PROJECTS COVERING FIGHTER DEVELOPMENT AND AIRBORNE EARLY 
WARNING TECHNOLOGY.  THEY BELIEVE ISRAEL'S MILITARY INDUSTRIES 
ARE PROVIDING CRUISE MISSILE-RELATED TECHNOLOGY TO CHINA.  AND 
THEY SAY RAFAEL --THE ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTRY'S RESEARCH AND 
DEVELOPMENT AGENCY FOR AIR-LAUNCHED WEAPONS -- HAS SOLD 
PYTHON-THREE AIR-TO-AIR MISSILES TO THE CHINESE AND IS SEEKING TO
SELL THEM THE MORE ADVANCED PYTHON-FOUR.
U-S NAVAL INTELLIGENCE HAS LONG MAINTAINED IT BELIEVES ISRAEL HAS
PASSED  AMERICAN-PROVIDED TECHNOLOGY TO THE CHINESE FOR CHINA'S 
F-10 FIGHTER PROGRAM.  ISRAEL REFUSES TO DISCUSS THE F-10 AND 
SUCH U-S SUSPICIONS.  BUT MR. NETANYAHU AND OTHER ISRAELI 
OFFICIALS CATEGORICALLY DENY U-S TECHNOLOGY HAS BEEN MADE 
AVAILABLE TO CHINA.
                     /////NETANYAHU ACT/////
 IN ALL OUR MILITARY SALES ENGAGEMENTS AROUND THE WORLD, WE KEEP 
IN MIND  TWO CONDITIONS, TWO RULES:  ONE IS TO HONOR CONTRACTS WE
HAVE WITH OTHER COUNTRIES ABOUT AVOIDING CERTAIN TECHNOLOGY 
TRANSFERS, THE OTHER IS TO CONSIDER ANY IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR OWN 
SECURITY.
                        /////END ACT/////
CHINA HAS PROVIDED IRAN AND SAUDI ARABIA WITH SOPHISTICATED 
WEAPONRY, AND NEITHER OF THOSE STATES IS A FRIEND OF ISRAEL.  ONE
MILITARY ATTACHE IN BEIJING BELIEVES ISRAEL'S MILITARY 
RELATIONSHIP WITH CHINA INVOLVES A CALCULATED RISK THAT, AS THESE
TIES PROGRESS, THEY MIGHT INFLUENCE CHINA'S POLICY TOWARD THE 
MIDDLE EAST. (SIGNED)
NEB/RW/KL
28-May-98 9:08 AM EDT (1308 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
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