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Re-Evaluate (Self-Defeating) Anti-China Export Controls, Commission Recommends

Nov. 19, 2015 (EIRNS)—The just-released 2015 report of the Congressionally-created U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, recommends a reversal of almost twenty years of a counter-productive and failed unilateral anti-China policy that has cost American high-tech workers thousands of jobs; lost high-tech companies millions of dollars in sales; led our allies in Europe to develop their own independent industries that do not violate U.S. trade restrictions; and encouraged China to also develop its own domestic high-tech industries, so as to not depend upon the U.S.

Specifically, the Commission recommended that there be a review of items on the State Department’s Munitions List and the Commerce Department’s Commerce Control List, to determine which items China could obtain on the open market regardless of U.S. restrictions, and which continue to need U.S. "protection." Although there are changes underway to loosen export restrictions, they only apply to our "friends," and not to China.

The restrictions were put in place in the hysterical aftermath of the manufactured accusations in the l990s that China was stealing U.S. rocket technology, and the failed attempt to prove that Los Alamos scientist, Wen Ho Lee, was a Chinese spy.

The head of the Commission is William Reinsch, who was Under Secretary of Commerce, Bureau of Export Administration, under President Clinton. In a 1999 interview with EIR, Reinsch pointed out to those concerned about Chinese threats that the export controls would be damaging to our own high-tech aerospace industry, which would damage national security, since more and more high-technology products used in defense are developed in the civilian sector. Thinking that trying to deny technology to other nations defends national security, Reinsch said, undercuts the real way the U.S. can keep ahead. The way to "maximize the technological gap between us and our adversaries is to run faster than they are," he advised, echoing Edward Teller’s admonition that it is not keeping secrets that protects a nation, but advancing science.

The report points to the progress of China’s space program, and the fact that when the ISS is deorbited, potentially in 2024, China’s station will be the only human space flight program. Unless policies change, the U.S. will have no manned access to space. The Comission recommends the allocation of funds for the traslation and analysis of Chinese-language technical and military writings, particularly related to space.

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