Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-03) sent a letter to inquiring why Commerce Secretary Gary Locke was given authority to authorize the export of United States missile technology to the People’s Republic of China, and asking the President to disclose the nature and extent of conversations about equipment and technology transfers with Chinese Communist Party and government officials.
“If there have been any discussions between the United States government and China about missile technology exports, Congress and the American people need to know about it,” said Congressman Jones.
Congressman Jones’ letter to President Obama is as follows:
Dear President Obama:
It has come to my attention that last month, you delegated your function as President of the United States to the Secretary of Commerce, Mr. Gary Locke, under section 1512 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999. That authority granted Secretary Locke the power to certify in advance that any export of missile equipment or technology to the People’s Republic of China is not detrimental to the United States and will not measurably improve their missile capabilities.
Our own Central Intelligence Agency has reported that a majority of China’s long range strategic missiles are aimed at U.S. cities; therefore the potential export of any missile technology to that country is problematic. Given that Secretary Locke has just traveled to China this week, this raises a number of serious and disturbing questions.
Why did you delegate your presidential powers on a decision so vital to the safety and security of all Americans? Specifically, why did you delegate this national security decision to the Secretary of Commerce and not the Secretary of Defense? What qualifies the Secretary of Commerce to certify that a particular missile technology being exported to China is not detrimental to US interests? Has your administration had discussions with officials of the Chinese Communist Party or the about transferring United States missile technology to the People’s Republic of China? If so, what missile technology have you discussed exporting? Why would the Chinese want to buy U.S. missile equipment or technology that does not measurably improve their capabilities? And finally, what promises or assurances might have been made by officials of the Chinese Communist Party or the Chinese Government in exchange for Secretary Locke potentially allowing the export of missile technology to China?
The implications of these above questions are obvious, so if the administration is not contemplating the export of missile technology to China I would certainly welcome any clarification, and look forward to having what is precisely being contemplated shared with Congress and with the American people.