China Missile Threat

March 1, 1999

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's trip to Communist China provides another opportunity for evaluating the Clinton administration's commitment to engagement. At least two issues should be of concern. First, China's use of U.S. satellite technology to enhance their military. Second, the evidence that China has been sharing its space technology with North Korea.

All of this comes at a time when the Clinton administration has decided to cancel a U.S. company's contract to sell a $600 million satellite communications system to a Chinese consortium because of fears that Beijing's military will use the network. Already the Chinese air force possesses anti-electronic jamming and air-refueling capabilities as well as greatly improved weapon systems that include air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, high precision guided bombs, and improved firing control equipment.

Many are concerned that China's leaps in military technology and its frequent saber-rattling over Taiwan and other East Asian issues do not bode well for the future. They believe that China is becoming a major threat in the region.

But the other threat is North Korea, and there is growing evident that China has been helping North Korea become a greater threat. It has recently been revealed that Communist China is helping North Korea boost their long-range missile program. Already the two countries are working to jointly develop space satellites.

Add these dangers to already publicized threats such as espionage, technology theft, drug smuggling, gun-running, and establishment of Chinese presence in Long Beach and the Panama Canal. This all adds up to a growing threat from Communist China. It will be interesting to see if any of these threats are even discussed by Madeleine Albright. Unfortunately, I suspect that the trip will be like President Clinton's earlier trip: it will focus only on the positive and downplay the negative.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.