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China’s Iran Arms Transfer; JINSA Leaders Visit India

JINSA Report #: 

February 15, 1996

China has recently sold modern anti-ship missiles to Iran and violated nuclear non-proliferation agreements by selling nuclear fuel enrichment equipment to Pakistan. At the same time it has stone-walled the U.S. on trade issues and disregarded internationally recognized standards for human rights. China’s latest provocation – saber rattling on the eve of Taiwan’s presidential election – must be met with a firm U.S. policy to bring about a peaceful resolution to this dispute. This is a policy China agreed to when U.S.-Chinese relations were established in the 1970’s.

The Clinton administration has played a role in the development of this situation because it has failed to stress China’s duty to keep its promise and has failed to keep security policies separate from economic policies. The administration has also failed to understand that the Taiwanese push for independence is seen by China as a provocation. By acquiescing to China on economic concerns and failing to institute penalties on China for their illegal arms sales, the U.S. sends a message that economics takes priority over all other concerns. This position has allowed China to hold U.S./China trade interests hostage. The administration must keep its economic and security interests separate and must penalize China for its illegal arms transfers while continuing negotiations on the economic front and making China aware that only a peaceful solution to the Taiwan issue will be acceptable.

A delegation of seven JINSA leaders just returned from a mission to India at the invitation of the Indian Government. They had several high-level meetings, including the following people and organizations: Foreign Secretary V.K. Grover, R.J. Khurana, Chairman, Joint Intelligence Commission; Defense Secretary K.A. Nambiar, Salman Khursheed, Minister of State for External Affairs, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Navy, P.C. Alexander, Governor of Maharashtra and a cross-section of Indian security experts.

India is important to the JINSA agenda on a variety of levels. (1) India is an emerging power that needs to be carefully cultivated and understood. (2) India currently has a nuclear capability and is aggressively developing missile capabilities and (3) it sits at the center of the only region of the world where three nuclear capable powers share contiguous border and are at the center of successive border disputes.

The primary issues on the JINSA agenda which were discussed in India are the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Missile Technology Control Regime, Terrorism and Radical Islamic Fundamentalism. Also discussed were a variety of issues relating to India’s relationships with the United States and Israel. There will be a detailed memo about the India visit available from the JINSA office for all those who are interested.

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