Tags: China's | Illegal | Spy | Plane | Armed | With | Advanced

China's Illegal Spy Plane - Armed With Advanced Radar by U.S.

Thursday, 12 April 2001 12:00 AM

China United Airlines aircraft B-4138, a Russian-made TU-154M three-engine airliner, is also clearly marked. B-4138 is painted in the colors of the communist government-owned airline and flies under an international civilian number as a passenger plane. The markings on B-4138 include large black block letters and a CUA symbol on the tail.

B-4138 is a Chinese spy plane. Defense analysts confirmed that the so-called "civil" aircraft is actually a Chinese air force spy plane equipped with a sophisticated radar and communications equipment. The modified TU-154M airliner is equipped with an array of communications antenna on the rear and a huge radar dome on the bottom of the aircraft.

"The Tu-154M is indeed from China United," stated Richard Fisher, a Chinese military defense analyst and fellow at the Jamestown Foundation.

"It is equipped with a new Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) system," noted Fisher, pointing out the characteristic tublike radar dome that dominates the lower half of the Chinese spy plane.

"This Tu-154M is likely involved in research for the development of SAR systems that can be used in a similar fashion to the U.S. JSTARS, which provided unprecedented battlefield awareness to U.S. commanders in the Gulf War. For the PLA, this and future SAR aircraft will help to manage military operations over Taiwan and to find critical targets for air and missile strikes."

China United Airlines operates inside the United States and is one of nearly 2,000 Chinese army-owned companies doing business in America. China United Airlines also operates U.S.-made civilian jet as military aircraft.

According to Seattle-based Boeing Aircraft Corp., the Chinese army air force obtained 10 civil 737-300 jet transports in 2000 through a purchase by China United Airlines. U.S defense officials confirmed that the Chinese Air Force is operating the 10 Boeing civil airliners as military jet transports.

"There is no doubt in my mind that they [China United Airlines] operate this type of aircraft," stated Larry Wortzel, senior Asia analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

"I have no doubt they have FLIR [forward-looking infrared] and SAR radar on some U.S made Gulfstreams as well," noted Wortzel.

"Both Boeing and McDonnell Douglas aircraft were used to move a division of the 15th Airborne Army to Beijing for use in Tiananmen Square."

According to a 1994 U.S. military report, the Clinton administration was aware that the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) owns and operates China United Airlines. Documentation obtained using the Freedom of Information act shows that China United Airlines is a known front company operated by PLAAF.

"China United Airlines (CUA) is a commercial entity of the PLA Air Force," states a 1994 report on the Chinese military issued by Lt. Col. Dennis Blasko, former U.S. defense attaché to Beijing.

Documents obtained from the Commerce Department using the Freedom of Information Act show that Loral Defense Systems sought the personal intervention of Ron Brown to approve Synthetic Radar technology exports to China.

Loral Defense Systems President, Jerald A. Lindfelt, wrote Brown, then Bill Clinton's secretary of commerce, in March 1996. Lindfelt sought Brown's help in the export of SAR technology to China. Lindfelt's appeal also included a direct request for Brown to over rule the Department of Defense, the State Department and even Brown's own Commerce Department, which had all previously denied SAR radar export to China.

"We've worked hard trying to resolve these problems with the Department of State, the Department of Commerce and the Defense Technology Security Administration (DTSA)," Loral's Lindfelt wrote to Brown. "But someone in these organizations always manage to block our participation."

Lindfelt attached a letter for Brown from Mrs. Zheng Lizhong, deputy director of the National Remote Sensing Center for the State Science and Technology Commission of China.

"Since 1989, the U.S. government has withheld any support for the equipment installed in our aircraft," Mrs. Zheng wrote Loral's Kelly.

"Your company has been very helpful in trying to solve the problems and release the equipment from the embargo, but so far have been unable to achieve a result. According to your manufacturers, because of the function of the equipment can be classed as military and civilian, the U.S. State Department continues to block any moves to put the products in the control of the Commerce Department."

According to a document obtained from the U.S. Defense Department, the Chinese Institute of Remote Sensing Equipment is actually the Chinese Air Force military radar and laser guidance design office. The 1999 Defense Department document notes that the Chinese "Institute of Remote Sensing" is "a developer of optical precision and photoelectric guidance systems for surface-to-air missiles."

In 1996, then-President Clinton moved control for advanced technology exports to the Commerce Department. The Chinese National Remote Sensing Center quickly won approval for the radar export the Clinton Commerce Department, and the Chinese army currently operates the system on on a U.S.-made Gulfstream jet.

In a September 1994 memo to Clinton, Harold Ickes, then White House chief of staff, informed him that Schwartz could be used to raise campaign donations "in order to raise an additional $3,000,000 to permit the Democratic National Committee to produce and air generic TV/radio spots as soon as Congress adjourns."

Ickes then urged Clinton to invite Schwartz to the White House "to impress [him] with the need to raise $3,000,000 within the next two weeks." In another memo, Ickes informed Clinton that Schwartz "is prepared to do anything he can for the administration."

Between October 1995 and March 1996, as Clinton mulled over whether to ignore the State, Justice, and Defense Departments' reasons against granting Loral waivers to export advanced technology to China, Loral Chairman Bernard Schwartz injected more than $150,000 into the DNC's coffers.

After Clinton's decision to lift the ban in Loral's case and to allow the exportation of the company's technology to the Chinese military, Loral CEO Schwartz handed over an additional $300,000 to the DNC.

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China United Airlines aircraft B-4138, a Russian-made TU-154M three-engine airliner, is also clearly marked.B-4138 is painted in the colors of the communist government-owned airline and flies under an international civilian number as a passenger plane.The markings on...
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Thursday, 12 April 2001 12:00 AM
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