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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

News From . . . 
U.S. Representative Christopher Cox             California

Cox Committee Votes Unanimous 1,100-Page Report on PRC Targeting of U.S. Military Technology

    WASHINGTON, D.C.(Wednesday, December 30, 1998)—The Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People’s Republic of China unanimously voted to approve a five-volume, 1,100-page report on the transfer of sensitive U.S. technology to the PRC. The report goes well beyond the two cases that spurred the investigation, involving Space Systems/Loral and Hughes, and addresses PRC targeting of not only so-called "dual-use" technologies, but also sensitive military technologies.

    "These transfers are not limited to satellite and missile technology, but cover other militarily-significant technologies," said Committee Chairman Christopher Cox (R-Orange County). "Rather quickly, our investigation led to even more serious problems of PRC technology acquisition efforts targeted at the United States. The seriousness of these findings, and their enormous significance to our national security, led us to a unanimous report."

    The Select Committee met for its 34th and final time December 30, capping a six-month effort launched by the near-unanimous vote of the House on June 18, 1998 to establish the Committee.

    "Six months ago this Select Committee did not exist," Chairman Cox said. "It had no staff, no offices, no telephones. Within six months, the Select Committee assembled an extraordinarily professional staff, conducted a thorough, multi-faceted investigation, and prepared the report approved today."

    The investigation was headed by professional investigators with significant national security experience. The staff included C. Dean McGrath, Jr., former Deputy Staff Director and Deputy Assistant to the President; Rick Cinquegrana, Deputy Inspector General of the CIA; Dan Silver, former General Counsel of the CIA and of NSA; Lewis Libby, former Deputy Under Secretary of Policy at the Department of Defense; Nicholas Rostow, former Legal Adviser to the National Security Council; Michael Sheehy, Minority Staff Director, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; and Michael Davidson, former Counsel to the Senate.

    The Committee held 22 hearings and heard more than 200 hours of testimony from more than 75 different witnesses. It conducted more than 700 hours of interviews and depositions of more than 150 individuals, issued 21 subpoenas, and conferred use immunity upon four witnesses with the concurrence of the Department of Justice.

    Moreover, Chairman Cox added, "the investigation was completed on time and under budget."

    "The investigation quickly turned to classified matters when it became clear that far more was involved in U.S. technology transfer to the PRC than just isolated cases," Chairman Cox said.

    The report’s entire 1,100 pages are temporarily classified "Top Secret." It was presented to the Speaker of the House and the Minority Leader on Saturday, January 2, 1999 and provided to the President and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for de-classification review.

    In a statement in the Capitol announcing the unanimous vote, Chairman Cox said the Committee could not answer most questions relating to either classified or unclassified information until the report is reviewed by the Select Committee staff to carefully separate out the two.

    "The classified and unclassified information is currently so intertwined that we would risk inadvertent disclosure of classified information if we did not first submit the report and our answers to your questions to staff review," he said.

    The Committee did announce, based on unclassified information, that the transfer of sensitive U.S. technology to the People’s Republic of China by both Hughes and Loral damaged the national security. These cases, which came to light after news reports that Loral received a waiver to launch a satellite in the PRC despite being the subject of a criminal investigation into prior technology transfers, were a significant reason that Congress created the Select Committee in late June 1998.

    "The PRC’s targeting of sensitive U.S. military technology is not limited to missiles and satellites, but covers other military technologies," Cox said. "Sensitive U.S. military technology has been the subject of serious PRC acquisition efforts over the last two decades, and continues today. A significant reason for the creation of the Select Committee was to determine whether Space Systems/Loral and Hughes were responsible for the transfer of technology that damaged the national security of the United States. Based on unclassified information, we have found that national security harm did occur. We have investigated these questions more thoroughly than any other part of the U.S. Government."

    The Select Committee is making 38 recommendations to protect sensitive U.S. military technology from the PRC. These recommendations also recognize the need for continued American leadership in technology and continued U.S. international competitiveness.

    A declassified version of the report will be made available to the public and press as soon as possible, Chairman Cox said.

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