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Feeding the Dragon?

by Chuck Missler

It appears that an intelligence coup has been scored against the United States by the First Bureau of the Military Intelligence Department in China, responsible for gathering intelligence abroad.

Last November, a deal was struck between a Canadian firm and China to construct two 700- megawatt nuclear reactors in Qinshan, China.1 Assisting in the project would be the U.S. firm Bechtel.

U.S. participation would be facilitated by a $383 million U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) loan.2

Exploring this and related transactions.3,4 reveals a trail that is both interesting and disturbing.

Presidential Intervention

The 1996 Federal Register documents a series of "Presidential Determinations" authorizing Ex-Im loans, with the statement by Bill Clinton "that it is in the national interest for the Export-Import Bank of the United States" to extend loans to the People’s Republic of China for the Qinshan project and other non-nuclear power plant projects5:

• June 26, 1996, Presidential Determination No. 96-35 authorizing $260 million;

• June 28, 1996, No. 96-37 authorizing $120 million;

• June 29, 1996, No. 96-38 authorizing $56 million;

• November 11, 1996, No. 97-2 authorizing $383 million;

• November 11, 1996, No. 97-3 authorizing $409 million.

Ordinarily, loans involving Ex-Im would be viewed as a positive move to encourage the exports of U.S. goods—however, these transactions deserve scrutiny in light of recent revelations of influence peddling by China.

And finding the loans to be in our "national interest" seems odd, since just one year earlier the U.S. was expressing concern over reports of China’s assistance in the building of nuclear facilities in Iran.

In fact, on February 21, 1993, China and Iran signed an agreement for the construction of two Qinshan-type nuclear power reactors.6

Arkansas Connections

Ex-Im Bank is a government- held corporation, managed by a Board of Directors whose members serve at the discretion of the President of the United States.7 A key player in the China transactions is Board member Maria Haley, who served under Governor Clinton in Arkansas, and who moved from the White House in 1995 to become Ex-Im’s Asia-Pacific Director.8

The Philippines born Haley is an ambassador’s daughter who lived in Asia before moving to the U.S. to marry Arkansas attorney, John Haley.

John Haley, it turns out, is the partner and personal lawyer for former Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker, who resigned his office after being convicted along with Susan McDougal in connection with a fraudulent loan.9 John Haley is under indictment and awaiting trial by Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr.

Political Corruption or Espionage?

Much has been made in the mainstream media this past month about political fund raising gone awry. But is that the whole story?

Maria Haley’s first job in Washington was in the White House, where she helped John Huang get a job at the Commerce Department.10 In January 1994, on the personal instructions of Ron Brown, the Commerce Secretary, Huang was given top- secret security clearance without background checks by the FBI or the state department’s Office of Security—a strict requirement for somebody born in a foreign country.11

John Huang has emerged as a central figure in both Justice Department and congressional investigations in the foreign-money controversy, including his role as intercessor in meetings at the White House and Ex-Im.12

Secret Service logs show that Huang entered the White House 94 times—an unusual degree of access for a mid-level Commerce official.13

Now we find that the National Security Agency first detected a plot by Chinese intelligence involving the secret and illegal funneling of $2 million and passed this information to Attorney General Janet Reno in May of last year.14

Reno in turn has told reporters that the decision was made to pass this information on to President Clinton’s national security advisor, Anthony Lake (since nominated to the head of the CIA) last June. This is the same month listed earlier as the first of the Presidential Determinations authorizing hundreds of millions in Ex-Im Bank loans to China!

Port of Long Beach

In yet another bizarre twist of this story, news is just emerging that the Long Beach Naval Station, closed in 1993 as part of the downsizing of U.S. bases, is about to be leased to a Communist China-owned shipping company under an agreement that was only made possible by the intervention of the White House.15

One thing seems certain—the Chinese Dragon no longer sleeps —it is awake and hungry!

* * *

This article was originally published in the
April 1997 Personal Update NewsJournal.

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  1. Asian Wall Street Journal, November 25, 1996, http://www.redfish.com/USEmbassy-China/fcs/briefs/br11-26-96.htm
  2. Export-Import Bank Press Release, November 19, 1996, http://www.exim.gov/press/nov1996.html
  3. "China Start Building Two More Power Reactors," NucNet, http://www.aey.ch/nucnet/News/960606a.html
  4. "China’s Fourth N-Plant Unit: Construction to Start in June," NucNet, http://www.aey.ch/nucnet/News/960606a.html
  5. Federal Register Online via GPO Access, http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces140.html
  6. The Nonproliferation Review: Spring-Summer 1995, Volume 2 - Number 3, The Center for Nonproliferation Studies, http://cns.miis.edu/npr/iranuc23.html
  7. "History of Ex-Im," http://www.exim.gov/history.html
  8. "President Clinton’s Asia Business Questioned," The Daily Republican, November 20, 1996, http://www.dailyrepublican.com/clintonasiaties.html
  9. "Who’s Who and What’s What," http://atlas.comet.net/clintons/index2.html
  10. "Clinton and Friends: Strong Ties, Few Questions," The New York Times, February 14, 1997, http://www.nytimes.com/
  11. "Chinese trade coup staggers U.S. spy chiefs," Sunday Times, November 10, 1996, http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/
  12. "Foreign Agents Law Part of Fund Raising Probe," Los Angeles Times, March 9, 1997, http://www.latimes.com/
  13. The Daily Republican, November 20, 1996.
  14. "Evidence emerges of Chinese plot to finance the Clinton campaign," London Daily Telegraph, November 14, 1997, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
  15. "Chinese Got Long Beach Deal," The Daily Republican, March 19, 1996, http://www.dailyrepublican.com/