Chinese Missile Allegations: Key Stories
Hughes Electronics and Loral Space & Communications Ltd. are both under
investigation by the Justice Department and two Congressional committees for their role in transferring sensitive U.S. space technology to the Chinese after Hughes and Loral satellites were destroyed in two Chinese rocket explosions.
President Clinton greets Democratic donor Bernard Schwartz, head of Loral Space and Communications Ltd. (AP File Photo)
Panel Faults Space Aid to China
December 31, 1998
Two American aerospace companies damaged U.S. national security when they provided Chinese space engineers with technical rocketry data that could have assisted Beijing's ballistic missile program, a House committee concluded in a classified 700-page report.
U.S. Probes Company's Covert Operations
December 30, 1998
The rise and fall of Vector Microwave Research Corp., a firm in the business of covertly acquiring foreign weapons for the U.S. government, illustrates the awkward bargain that can result when intelligence agencies such as the CIA privatize covert operations.
Report Faults Hughes on Data Given China
December 9, 1998
A preliminary Defense Department assessment has concluded that Hughes Electronics Corp. provided China with information potentially damaging to U.S. national security following the 1995 crash of a Chinese rocket carrying a Hughes-built commercial satellite.
CIA Role in Satellite Case Spurs Probe
December 5, 1998
The Justice Department has initiated a criminal probe of the CIA to determine whether the agency obstructed justice when it provided information to Hughes Electronics Corp. about the scope of an ongoing congressional investigation into the transfer of sensitive U.S. space technology to China.
Hill Conferees Agree to Return Satellite Export Licensing to State
September 19, 1998
A House-Senate conference has agreed to transfer export licensing authority, reversing a 1996 decision by President Clinton that came under fire this year amid allegations of unauthorized technology transfers to China and favoritism to a big campaign contributor.
2 Executives Defend Hughes's China Deals
July 30, 1998
Two current and former high-ranking executives of Hughes Electronics Corp. defended their company's patriotism before a Senate committee, disputing suggestions that their practice of launching satellites in China helped Beijing's ballistic missile program.
White House Papers Trace Hughes Executive's Pressure for China Deals
July 27, 1998
The White House released hundreds of pages of documents on U.S. space deals with China, many of which focus on former Hughes Electronics Corporation CEO C. Michael Armstrong's full-court-press lobbying.
Lott Scolds White House on Satellite Deals
July 15, 1998
Majority Leader Trent Lott said a Senate probe has found that China received sensitive technology and military advantages under what he described as a "wholly inadequate" system of U.S. export controls.
Satellite Launches Were Forced Overseas
July 15, 1998
The main reason U.S. companies go abroad for launches is that they generally have nowhere else to go.
Encryption Chips' Fate After Crash a Mystery
July 8, 1998
No one -- at least in the United States -- knows exactly what happened
when a Chinese Long March rocket carrying a U.S. satellite exploded
seconds after takeoff in February 1996. But the Clinton administration and
its critics each have a theory.
Testimony: Export Watchdog Neutered
June 26, 1998
Republicans in Congress cite the weakening of the Defense Technology Security Administrationy as Exhibit A in their effort to demonstrate that the Clinton administration emphasizes foreign sales of technology at the expense of national security concerns.
How Hughes Got What It Wanted on China
June 25, 1998
Hughes Electronics Corp., the world's largest satellite-builder and a favorite of U.S. trade officials, has gotten almost all it has sought from the Clinton administration on China deals, through in-your-face lobbying tactics and a revolving-door hiring policy for officials departing key agencies.
Technology Transfer Probe Is Widened
June 24, 1998
The Justice Department has expanded its investigation into the transfer of
sensitive U.S. space technology to China to examine a case in which
Hughes Electronics Corp. gave technical data to China in 1995 after a
Chinese rocket carrying a Hughes-made telecommunications satellite
exploded shortly after launch.
White House: Chinese Launches Aid U.S.
June 16, 1998
Clinton administration officials made their case to two skeptical
congressional committees that the controversy about American
satellite deals with China is overblown, and that allowing U.S. spacecraft
to be launched aboard Chinese rockets helps persuade the Beijing
government to stop selling weaponry to other nations.
U.S. Gains Intelligence in China Launches
June 13, 1998
Chinese officials, trying to explain in 1996 why one of their
satellite-bearing rockets had blown up, for the first time revealed to outsiders the inner workings of their Long March missiles.
Ex-Official: Signs of Chinese Sale Snubbed
June 12, 1998
The former chief of the Central Intelligence Agency's weapons
counter-proliferation efforts told a Senate committee that the Clinton administration's determination not to impose economic sanctions
on China led it to play down persuasive evidence that Beijing sold
nuclear-capable missiles to Pakistan.
Missile Failures Led To Loral-China Link
June 12, 1998
Failed Chinese rocket launches set the stage for the current congressional and Justice Department investigations of Loral Space & Communications Ltd.
Pentagon, CIA Differ on Missile Threat
June 8, 1998
The CIA determined more than a year ago that a controversial transfer to Chinese officials of an American technical report about a 1996 Chinese missile crash did not raise "proliferation concerns" that could harm U.S. security.
Papers Trace China Waiver Concerns
June 11, 1998
In a series of public hearings starting this week, congressional Republicans are seeking to expand their field of attack from a single case to a wider assault on Clinton's China export policies.
Sale Shows Perils of Exporting Technology
June 7, 1998
The story of how machine tools the size of a football field were improperly transported from a McDonnell Douglas Corp. aircraft plant in Columbus, Ohio to a Chinese missile plant serves as a case study in the pressures to export technology and the hazards of trying to control its ultimate uses.
CIA Director Is Quiet on Technology Transfer
June 5, 1998
CIA Director George J. Tenet refused to discuss with the Senate Intelligence Committee a secret report about an unauthorized U.S. transfer of information to Chinese missile officials, citing a last-minute request by Attorney General Janet Reno to reserve comment on the case.
Lott Says China Probes Won't Be Political Tool
June 3, 1998
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) said Congress does not intend to use its China investigations as a political club against the Clinton administration.
Bureaucracy, Bungled Report Collide at Loral
May 31, 1998
A reconstruction of the administration's handling of the waiver for a 1998 U.S. satellite launch in China reveals a complicated, and in many ways mundane, picture of a bureaucratic process propelled by a policy forged in the Reagan and Bush administrations.
Chinese Missile Gain Questioned by Experts
May 31, 1998
The evidence so far does not amount to a credible case that China's military rockets are better prepared to strike at American cities as a direct windfall from U.S. participation in its satellite launching business, according to many independent specialists on Chinese forces.
Big Donor Calls Favorable Treatment a 'Coincidence'
May 25, 1998
Bernard Schwartz says the "confluence" of his own increased contributions and the Clinton administration's favorable treatment of his company was "just coincidence."
Liu's Deals With Chung: An Intercontinental Puzzle
May 24, 1998
Liu Chaoying, the daughter of China's most powerful military official, brokered deals for missile components one day and Sonoma Valley Cabernet the next. Johnny Chung, a glad-handing entrepreneur who boasted of his White House access, became her California business partner in 1996.
Chinese Company Denies it Got Sensitive Technology
May 23, 1998
Officials from a Chinese satellite launching company denied that
they had received any sensitive technology with military applications from U.S. firms.
President Overrode China Launch Concerns
May 23, 1998
President Clinton gave the go-ahead in February to a U.S. company's satellite launch in China despite staff concerns that granting such approval might be seen as letting the company "off the hook" in a Justice Department investigation of whether it previously provided unauthorized assistance to China's ballistic missile program.
Democrats Ask Clinton's Cooperation In Probes
May 22, 1998
The White House intends to send to the House documents that officials said will show there was nothing nefarious about a controversial Chinese satellite launch for a U.S. aerospace firm headed by a top Democratic donor.
House Rebukes Clinton on China
May 21, 1998
In a series of nearly unanimous votes, the House said President Clinton failed to act in "the national interest" earlier this year when he gave permission for a Chinese satellite launch to a U.S. aerospace firm with close Democratic ties, and moved to block him from approving similar exports.
Gingrich to Create Special Panel to Probe China Technology Deal
May 20, 1998
House Speaker Newt Gingrich announced that he would create a select committee to probe allegations that China illegally obtained missile technology from a U.S. company that received favorable treatment from the administration.
Loral Denies Benefits in Return for Donations
May 19, 1998
The major U.S. aerospace company denied that it requested or received "political favors or benefits of any kind" in exchange for campaign donations.
Clinton Defends Satellite Waiver
May 18, 1998
President Clinton said no foreign policy decisions by his
administration affecting China were
influenced by political contributions.
Justice Dept. Investigates Satellite Exports
May 17, 1998
The Justice Department's campaign finance task force has begun to examine whether a Clinton administration decision to export commercial satellites to China was influenced by contributions to the Democratic Party during the 1996 campaign.
Chung Ties Chinese Funds to Democrats
May 16, 1998
Democratic fund-raiser Johnny Chung has told Justice Department investigators that a Chinese military officer who is an executive
with a state-owned aerospace company gave him $300,000 to donate to the
Democrats' 1996 campaign.
GOP Leaders Demand Satellite Export Data
May 12, 1998
Congress's two top Republicans are
demanding that the White House provide
documents on whether China's nuclear
missile capability was aided by an
administration policy on exporting
GOP Says U.S. Gave China Nuclear Edge
May 6, 1998
Congressional Republicans plan a series of hearings to investigate whether President Clinton's policy on the export of commercial satellites to China has allowed the Chinese to acquire technology to improve the accuracy of their nuclear missiles and whether that policy was influenced by campaign contributions.
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