In regard to the May 26 editorial "Nuclear Pickpocket":

First, it is absurd and untenable to assert that all the 80,000 Chinese visitors to the United States each year, many of the 100,000 Chinese students and academics and 3,000 corporations here "are told" to collect information. The Chinese government has all along advised its citizens living overseas to abide by the laws and regulations of the countries where they stay, live amicably with other ethnic groups and work hard to promote the development of the local economy and the friendly relations between China and these countries. In fact, the Chinese citizens in the United States, either visiting, studying or doing business, are making contributions in their own way to the deepening of mutual understanding and the development of relations between our two countries.

Second, normal commercial transactions between China and the United States are mutually beneficial and should not be adversely affected in the name of national security. For example, for commercial satellite launch services, China and the United States signed three agreements, including the Memorandum of Agreement on Satellite Technology Safeguards. According to the memorandum, and along with other security measures, a U.S. satellite is under round-the-clock surveillance by U.S. security personnel between its arrival in China and its launch into space. In its launch services, China has always strictly observed the stipulations of these agreements, and the security of U.S. technology has never been called into question. But the editorial hinted that in these transactions U.S. national security was endangered, which, of course, is not true.

Finally a word about the "China Threat" theory. The editorial quoted the Cox report as saying that in a few years, China's nuclear modernization could affect the regional balance of power. China is a peace-loving country. We need a peaceful international environment to pursue our modernization program and to improve our people's livelihood. We have no military bases and not a single soldier outside our borders. Our defense capability is for self-defense only. China is the only country among the five nuclear powers that has undertaken not to use nuclear weapons first and never to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear weapon states and nuclear-free zones. China has all along called for a comprehensive ban on and thorough destruction of all nuclear weapons. It is ridiculous to suggest that China could pose a threat to any other country.


Minister-Counselor (Press)

The Embassy of the People's Republic of China