China: Possible Missile Technology Transfers from U.S. Satellite Export Policy - Actions and Chronology
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Congress has been concerned about whether U.S. firms, in exporting satellites, provided expertise to China for use in its ballistic missile and space programs and whether the Administrations policies might facilitate transfers of military-related technology to China. This CRS Report discusses security concerns, policy changes, congressional action, and a chronology of major developments since 1988. Some critics opposed satellite exports to China, while others were concerned that the Clinton Administration relaxed export controls and monitoring of commercial satellites in moving the licensing authority from the State Department to Commerce in 1996. A range of concerns were prompted by New York Times reports in April 1998 that the Justice Department began a criminal investigation into whether Loral Space and Communications Ltd. and Hughes Electronics Corp. violated export control laws. The firms allegedly shared their findings with China on the cause of a rockets explosion while launching a U.S.-origin satellite in February 1996. The companies are said to have provided expertise that China could use to improve the accuracy and reliability of its future ballistic missiles, including their guidance systems. At least three classified studies reportedly found that U.S. national security was harmed. In the fall of 1998, Congress passed the FY1999 National Defense Authorization Act that transferred licensing authority over satellites back to the State Department effective March 15, 1999. On October 5, 1999, the President signed into law the FY2000 National Defense Authorization Act P.L. 106-65 in which Congress addressed export controls relating to missile technology, satellites, and other issues.
- Information Science
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Guided Missiles