Look Who’s Arming Beijing

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by Patrick J. Buchanan – January 29, 1999

“China’s army conducted a military exercise last month with simulated missile firings against Taiwan and also for the first time conducted mock attacks on U.S. troops in the region … ”

That was the jolting lead of a Jan. 26 story by Bill Gertz of The Washington Times. With those mock attacks, China is sending a message: We will collar Taiwan and drag the renegade province back to the embrace of the Motherland, even if it means war with America.

In 1996, Bill Clinton sent two carrier battle groups to respond to China’s menacing of Taiwan. The confrontation dissolved. By practicing with silo-housed missiles, and targeting U.S. troops in Korea, in Japan and on Okinawa, China is saying: Next time, we do not back down.

China’s imperial intentions are clear: Seize all the disputed islands off Asia’s coast, especially the Spratlys. Build up nuclear and conventional missile forces to deter America. Put China at the center of a Beijing-Moscow-Teheran axis to overturn U.S. hegemony in Asia.

Indispensable to the modernization of China’s war arsenal are three collaborators — Israel, Russia and the U.S.A.

“The Defense Intelligence Agency suspects Israel shared with China restricted U.S. weapons technology obtained during a joint U.S.-Israeli effort to build a battlefield laser gun,” writes Gertz on Jan. 27. U.S. employees have twice “spotted Chinese technicians working secretly with one of the Israeli companies involved in the laser weapon program.” A Chinese official in Israel exhibited hard knowledge of the super-secret program to build lasers to shoot down the Katyusha rockets used by Hezbollah on Israeli towns.

Israel has been charged before with betraying vital U.S. secrets. In 1992, The Washington Times reported Israel had given Beijing the secret technology of the U.S. Patriot missile. A U.S. investigation found that, while Beijing had acquired the secrets of the Patriot, it could not say for sure who gave them up.

According to Richard Fisher of the Heritage Foundation, Russia and Israel have teamed up to build China an AWACS system, using Israel’s Phalcon radar.

Arms expert Duncan Clarke wrote in the July 22 Christian Science Monitor that Israel has used “U.S. technology to assist China in developing its next fighter aircraft — the J-10 — airborne radar systems, tank programs and a variety of missiles. Over vigorous Pentagon objections, Israel has apparently transferred to China the most lethal air-to-air missile in the world: the Python 4. This system employs an advanced helmet-mounted sight, developed together by American and Israeli firms.”

China’s J-10 is based on the Lavi, an Israeli plane subsidized with $1.4 billion in U.S. tax dollars. As ominous, writes Clarke, is “Israel’s transfer to China of its STAR-1 cruise missile technology (that) … incorporates U.S. stealth technology and is … ‘a growth version’ of Israel’s Delilah-2 missile, which contains U.S. parts and technology.”

Thus does critical U.S. weapons technology go into machines of war that Beijing prepares for use on Americans. Israel is engaged in the moral equivalent of America selling Stingers to Hezbollah.

Why is Israel doing this? “When the customer is interested,” Israeli scholar Yitzhak Shichor is quoted in Clarke’s piece, “it (is) difficult for the Ministry of Defense to abort or prevent an Israeli arms transfer to whatever country for whatever reason.” Adds Clarke: “Yet neither President Clinton nor Congress will confront Israel and its most powerful American partisans.”

For such cowardice, U.S. Marines, airmen and sailors may one day pay with their lives.

Russia’s contribution? Moscow has sold China 48 SU-27 fighters with a licensing deal for 200 more and hinted at selling the SU-30. This, says Heritage’s Fisher, would give Beijing “the basis of a modern strike capability.” Russia is also producing for China 30 Sunburn anti-ship missiles that skim the ocean’s surface at twice the speed of sound. Guess whose ships they will be targeted on.

Why is Russia doing this? As one Russian newspaper put it, Moscow “is ready to assist China’s transformation into a first-class military power. Especially considering the fact that Beijing is ready to pay for that in freely convertible currencies.”

Where does China get the hard currency to pay the Israelis and Russians? From a $60 billion annual trade surplus with the United States.

When one considers that China covets Russia’s Far East, sends missile technology to Israel’s mortal enemy, Iran, menaces our old ally, Taiwan, and uses profits from its U.S. trade to buy weapons to target U.S. troops, ships and planes, all three of us may one day come to rue our stupidity and our greed.

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