As is now well-known, one of the more interesting pieces of information uncovered in the Select Committee's investigation of espionage by the People's Republic of China is a PRC document directed to the CIA by the MSS, the main spy agency in Beijing.

The Post's May 28 news story concerning this "walk-in" information, which included highly classified U.S. design data on the W-88 nuclear warhead, cites unnamed "professionals" who "voiced concern" that the select committee "placed so much stock" in this "suspect document."

While there is mystery in the motives of the PRC in providing this document to the United States (intimidation? accident? disinformation about the date of the theft?), there is no question about the authenticity of the U.S. nuclear weapons design data it contains.

Just how much U.S. design information the PRC obtained is clear from other classified sources, of which this much is now declassified: The People's Liberation Army has successfully tested its knock-off version of the world's most sophisticated nuclear design. And it got it right virtually immediately. The debate over whether the PRC stole design information for the W-88 is over: it did.


U.S. Representative


U.S. Representative


The writers are, respectively, chairman and ranking member of the Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military-Commercial Concerns with the People's Republic of China.