Tattle Tales: Selling U.S. Secrets to China
March 9, 1999 - CBN Interview
William Triplett II, author of "Year of the
Rat," discusses the danger of the United
States transferring technology to China.
PAT ROBERTSON: Well, joining us from our Washington
bureau to discuss the implications of the transfer of
technology to China is William Triplett. He's the
co-author of the book "Year of the Rat." Mr.
Triplett, it's so nice to have you with us. Could you
tell us about these two Chinese that just got
arrested? That's apparently right now on the news.
Mr. WILLIAM TRIPLETT II: I think one of them was in
Boston and another one was on the West Coast.
Basically they're looking for parts for missiles,
gyroscopes and that sort of thing. And I think this
is what has come out today, and I think that probably
we're going to see more of this sort of thing.
Certainly the Customs Service is chasing these spy
operations all over the country.
ROBERTSON: So this isn't something where the
administration is complicit. Is this the normal
espionage that you would expect with somebody trying
to steal our secrets?
Mr. TRIPLETT: I think so, but I think also we can say
that some of the embarrassment of the administration
with regard to the campaign fund-raising, the--John
Huang and that sort of thing, has given them a little
bit of emphasis on trying to bring some of these
cases. A number of us have worried about these cases
and ongoing investigations that went nowhere, and I
think we're doing a little bit better, marginally
because of the attention that you have put on this
and others like you.
ROBERTSON: How much material do you think the
People's Liberation Army has gotten from the United
Mr. TRIPLETT: A lot, and it's ongoing. First, you're
talking about hardware itself: for example, these
gyroscopes. But don't forget. You can also make a
technology transfer on the military side with a
floppy disk. That is, you have the design of a
weapon, you put the floppy disk in your pocket and go
to China and you can make a contribution there. And
then there is the whole question of what Loral and
Hughes and some other people were up to in China. One
of the good news, I think, that we can point to is
the administration has finally been so embarrassed
that it's going to stop the Hughes military satellite
going to China. And that, I think, we can take some
pride in, in essence encouraging--let's say perhaps
forcing--the administration to do what it ought to be
ROBERTSON: Well, not only that Long-March is now more
accurate, I understood that Loral transferred the
technology, which would be used for MIRVing those
missiles. Is that correct?
Mr. TRIPLETT: That's right. I want to be a little
delicate about how I say this for security reasons,
but one of the problems that the Chinese rockets had
was vibration problem. And if you stop that vibration
problem, you also stop thrashing the bits and pieces
at the top of the rocket, if you understand what I
Mr. TRIPLETT: That is, they're very delicate pieces,
and if the rocket itself is shaking, then the MIRVs
won't do what they're supposed to. So you stop
vibration and you help MIRVs.
ROBERTSON: But now they are--do they have it now? I
mean, can they access United States cities at this
juncture, or is this something they're in the process
Mr. TRIPLETT: There's no question they can access
United States cities now, and they're going to even
more sophisticated and more difficult missiles for us
to detect. The ones they have right now are in the
ground, but they're going to road-mobile missiles
that are solid fuel, up and shoot in 30 minutes.
ROBERTSON: Well, if there is good news, it's that
they don't have a blue water navy. They've got a
so-called brown water navy. That is the only good
thing as far as an invasion of somebody. They're not
capable of doing it. Isn't that correct?
Mr. TRIPLETT: Well, it's a question of invasion of
Mr. TRIPLETT: We always have to remember that the
United States doesn't stand alone. We're the leader
of a coalition of democratic forces around the world.
And the blue water navy of the Chinese, which is now
a brown water navy, is threatening the Philippines in
the South China Sea. So slowly but surely, they get
bigger and then they start, in essence, trying to go
after our allies where they can get after them.
ROBERTSON: Well, it's possible now to--for blackmail,
they say, `If you move into the South China Sea
against our forces or you defend Taiwan, then we'll
bomb your cities.' That's pretty effective blackmail,
Mr. TRIPLETT: It certainly is. And one of the things
I think your listeners are going to want to keep an
eye on are two new Russian destroyers that are being
sold to the Chinese navy. And these destroyers were
designed to destroy American aircraft carriers and
Aegis cruisers, and these are being sold to the
Chinese. They have rockets on board that we can't
counter and who could--then the rockets could be
nuclear tipped, of course. So there's a threat to the
American mainland; there's a threat to the American
Navy; there's a threat to our allies, and lots of
threats, depending on which one you want to look at.
ROBERTSON: I was watching a feature about
Ronald Reagan. They said he gave arms to get
hostages freed of Iran. That's one thing. But this is
arms and military technology to get campaign
contributions, which is pretty bad, but we're not
saying much about it. "The Year of the Rat." We
appreciate Edward Timperlake and our guest, William
Triplett, for bringing this book out. It's still
available in the bookstores, published by Regnery
Press. Thank you very much for being with us.
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