by Jim Emerson
New documents added to WikiLeaks leaked United States embassy cables revealed that China has been selling missiles and parts to Iran, Syria, and Pakistan in violation of its agreement with the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
MTCR was formed in 1987 as an informal, voluntary partnership of 34 countries to prevent the export of long-range weapons of mass destruction to hostile nations. China is not a member but has assured the members it will support the group’s policy of missile non-proliferation. China has not been allowed to join the MTCR because of its non-existent export controls. China has not signed nor agreed to the UN’s “Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation.” China always says the right things but has a difficult time honoring its own words.
A September 2009 State Department cable entitled “China’s Ballistic Missile-Related Export Control Record” outlines Chinese missile export transfers to Syria and Iran. As excerpted from the cable:
Chinese firms continue to sell items with ballistic missile applications to a Syrian ballistic missile entity.
China-based Shanghai Technical By-Products International Corporation continues to work with Iranian ballistic missile entities to provide items with ballistic missile applications.
Dalian Sunny Industries/LIMMT: LIMMT supplied or attempted to supply Iran’s military and missile organizations with items including graphite, tungsten, gyroscopes, and accelerometers; Bellamax: Bellamax supplied or attempted to supply Iran’s military or missile organizations with items including steel alloys, gyroscopes, and ball bearings.
Chinese firms continue to sell equipment to Pakistan’s ballistic missile entities.
The Obama administration’s mild response to these firms was: “sanctions, all new individual U.S. export licenses for MTCR Annex items to the sanctioned entities and all new U.S. government contracts relating to MTCR Annex items with the sanctioned entities will be denied for a two year period. An additional sanction in this case bans all imports into the U.S. of products produced by the sanctioned entity for two years.”
China lacks the political will to comply with its agreement to the MTCR. The Chinese have created phony firms, forged shipping documents, and/or shipped weapons systems to outlaw governments because they refuse to enforce their own so-called export laws.
Chinese authorities and firms fail to conduct sufficient evaluations of missile-applicable transactions or to take steps to know their customers.
The unwillingness of the Chinese government to stop proliferation of ballistic missiles to unstable regimes could be seen as a silent approval. China would often learn about shipments from “foreign-provided information” and according to The Washington Times, “One Chinese official was quoted as saying such controls are “not meant to catch everything.” Another Chinese official was quoted as warning U.S. officials to back off pressuring Beijing because “China’s business is its own business.” Translation: “America you are bought and paid for so shut up.”
With the introduction of Iranian manufactured improvised rocket-assisted munitions being supplied to the Taliban and Iraqi Militias one has to ask if some of its components were “Made in China”?
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