Tuesday, November 22, 2011

China arms Hezbollah

Illustration: China weapons by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

The following is an excerpt from “Bowing to Beijing” (Regnery Publishing, Nov. 14, 2011):
It doesn’t take a lot to exacerbate the broiling political crisis in the Middle East, and Beijing’s international arm sales pour fuel on the Muslim-Jewish fire. During the Second Lebanon War, a Chinese C-802 anti-ship missile struck Israel’s INS Hanit off the Lebanon coast. Four Israeli sailors were killed in the incident - Yoni Hershkovitz from Haifa, Shai Atias from Rishon Letzion, Tal Amgar from Ashdod and Dov Shtienshos from Carmiel. The oldest was 37, the youngest just 19...
...Fortuitously for the Hanit, a second C-802 fired at the same time flew over the ship, zeroed in on a small freighter 40 miles away, and sank it. A ship the size of the Hanit could never have taken two missile hits.
There was never any doubt about who fired the missiles. ... Hezbollah may have had its hand on the lanyard, but Iranian specialists manned the firing batteries, and Lebanon’s military radars provided the guidance for the missile.
...No one doubts that the Chinese have been and still are deeply engaged in illicit nuclear-weapons assistance to numerous countries. The bomb designs for the nuclear-weapon programs of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Moammar Gadhafi’s Libya and Pakistan were all Chinese. 
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is trading nuclear-weapons designs to Iran for oil and, through front companies, has funneled dual-use nuclear goods bought by North Korea to Syria. Specialists in the field widely agree that China also secretly trades in other types of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), ballistic missiles and advanced conventional weapons. ...Top Israeli security officials evidently thought, “Even the Chinese would not go so far as to arm terrorist groups with advanced conventional weapons.” They were wrong...
...The arming of Hezbollah, like most of the PRC’s illicit weapons trade, all boils down to money. Arms smuggling is highly profitable, and the Chinese Communist families that control Beijing’s end of the various arms-smuggling operations with the North Koreans, Iranians or the Syrians would have gotten their cut of whatever went down. 
As one expert recently noted, “Most remaining proliferation disputes don’t pertain to the actions of the government in Beijing, but to the practices of China’s state-owned defense industries. The country’s large state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are some of the world’s most prolific exporters of weapons and dual-use technologies.” These SOEs are dominated by the so-called Princelings, sons, daughters and grandchildren of high-ranking officials who founded and ran the Chinese Communist Party with Mao.
In a private briefing in Hong Kong, a Chinese arms dealer described the relationship between the Chinese Communist elite and Beijing’s arms-smuggling trade. According to him, this lucrative business was carefully divided so that each family received a share of the profits depending on where they are in the Communist Party pecking order....
*Brett M. Decker is editorial page editor of The Washington Times and a former Hong Kong-based editor and writer for The Wall Street Journal. William C. Triplett II is former chief Republican counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and bestselling co-author of “Year of the Rat” (Regnery, 1998).
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