Monday, June 20, 2005

Israeli Arms Sales to China

Many years ago, when I was working for an independence-related organization in Washington DC, I asked one of Stephen Solarz' staffers why the Jewish Congressman from New York City was so interested in Taiwan affairs. The staffer replied that the Congressman, long a friend of the island and one of its most influential Congressional supporters during the 1980s, saw Taiwan and Israel as small nations threatened by mighty numbers from without, and needing the support of great powers, two examples of the same case, moral commitments both. One could not be honored without the other also being honored.

It is thus hard to see Israeli arms sales to China -- most recently upgrades for China's drones -- as anything but the most extreme perfidy. The Guardian has more facts on recent sales:

According to Ha'aretz, the US has indicated that normal relations will not be resumed until Israel agrees to a series of humiliating conditions.

Israel must provide information on 60 recent arms deals with China and agree to American supervision of arms dealings which might be seen as "sensitive" by the US, the report said.

Sixty recent arms deals! This article here discusses numerous other transfers of Israeli technology, and US technology (by Israel) to China.

Chinese fighters carry Israel's potent Python 3 heat-seeking missile, a weapon painstakingly developed by Israel based on the venerable Sidewinder missile that the United States sold to the Jewish states decades ago, say former intelligence officials. Reconnaissance photographs of Chinese F-8 fighters intercepting, and in some cases harassing, U.S. patrol planes clearly show the fast, short-range Pythons affixed under the fighters' wings. China has bought the rights to domestically produce the Python 3, an early 1990s transaction that the Pentagon says it learned of only after the fact. "I think we would have preferred to know in advance, but we didn?t get that," said Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, the Defense Department's chief spokesman, expressing Washington?s latest irritation with Israel over arms deals with communist China.


The April 1 emergency landing of the Navy EP-3E surveillance plane, after a Python-armed Chinese F-8 fighter flew into its propeller, once again has thrown the spotlight on the Israel-China arms connection. Larry M. Wortzel, a former U.S. military attache in Beijing and now an analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said the Israel-China arms channel has flowed for more than 50 years. "It grew and grew, and the United States just winked at a number of serious transfers," he said. "China is benefiting from reverse-engineering American technology provided to Israel," added Mr. Wortzel, a retired Army colonel who says he saw evidence of improper transfers while a counterintelligence officer in the 1980s.

and according to this article Dick Cheney himself avers that the Israelis transferred Patriot missile data to China.

Richard B. Cheney, the defense secretary at the time, said he had 'good reason" to believe the Patriot diversion occurred. The Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency compiled evidence substantiating the transfer. Yet a special State Department team said it could find no evidence that Israel, a close ally of Washington and beneficiary of $3 billion annually in U.S. economic and military aid, sold China Patriot secrets. To this day, intelligence analysts in and out of government continue to stress that the transfer occurred. Mr. Fisher believes advanced technology from the Patriot, a ground-based anti-aircraft and anti-missile interceptor, found its way into China?s new advanced surface-to-air missiles now on watch. He also believes the PLA used illicit Patriot data to improve M-9 short-range missiles aimed at Taiwan, which China views as a breakaway republic and has vowed to reincorporate with the mainland -- by force if necessary. "They used the information from the Patriot for the M-9 to be able to evade Patriot interception," Mr. Fisher said.

And who could forget our $3 billion per annum pals from Tel Aviv attempting to sell the Phalcon Airbone Early Warning Command and Control System to China. The sale was canceled by US pressure during the Clinton Administration, but the Sharon gov't attempted to revive it, only to be thwarted by the Bush Administration.


Red A said...

I'm glad you can credit both Clinton and Bush with thwarting these sales.

It's absolutley unbelievable.

If they don't want to be our puppets (at least for China policy) why the hell do we fund them even one red cent?

It almost makes one think again about the USS Liberty.

Michael Turton said...

Oh yes, in this case both administrations have done well. But Israel will continue to do it anyway. I have to admit that I used to admire Israel a lot more than now. I grew up reading Leon Uris, and absorbed the whole pro-Israel propaganda stance. Then a couple of years ago I read Michael Oren's book on the Six Day War, and also read about historian Benny Morris. Then I began to see everything differently. Weapons sales to China only increases my disgust with Israel.