CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES TO SECRETARY OF DEFENSE


CLICK HERE TO READ THE 11/23/99 SOFTWAR EDITORIAL



November 15, 1999


The Honorable William Cohen
Secretary of Defense
The United States Department of Defense
The Pentagon
Washington, D.C.  20451

Dear Mr. Secretary:

         We are writing regarding the resumption of the 1999
U.S.-China Military Exchange program.   Earlier this year, the
Congress enacted legislation to restrict the scope of exchange
program to prevent visits by People's Liberation Army officials
to strategic facilities in the United States.  We request that
any new agreements or "Game Plan" for the exchange program be
released to our offices by not later than January 15, 2000.

         As you are aware, the ongoing Chinese communists
military build-up poses serious threats to the Taiwan Strait and
South China Sea, as well as to U.S. military personnel
throughout the Asia-Pacific region.  We are concerned that
previous elements of the exchange program that were described as
unrelated none-the-less boosted the Chinese military's offensive
capabilities.  For example, the May 9 to 20, 1999 visit by a
Chinese air traffic control delegation included visits to
sensitive U.S. Air Force installations, including the Air Force
Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base and briefings on
Combat Readiness Air Traffic Control courses at Luke Air Force
Base in New Mexico.

           The Chinese delegation included high level officials
such as PLA General Li Yongtai, Senior Colonel Li Zhongli of the
People's Liberation Army Air Force Command, Senior Colonel Wang
Changzheng, Director of the Navigation Division of the PLA Naval
Air Force and Major Wang Shouxing of the Aeronautical Control
Department of the PLA Air Force Command.  After reviewing the
briefing papers distributed to the Chinese delegation, we are
concerned that under the guise of "air traffic control," the
U.S. military gave instructions on how our military fighter
commands utilize civilian air traffic control for tasks such as
"low level bombing," in-flight refueling" and the coordination
of AWACS in combat refueling operations.

         It appears that these briefings not only advised the
Chinese military on how we conduct  fighter-bomber operations in
military operations areas [MOAs], but this will enable them to
better develop defenses against our Air Force and Navy aviation
operations.  Specifically, please submit written answers to the
following questions related to the May 1999 Chinese air traffic
delegation:

         Was the delegation briefed or did they participate in
any air tasking orders [ATO] exercises?

         Did any members of the Chinese delegation ride in U.S.
combat aircraft or AWACs or refueling tankers?

         Was the delegation shown U.S. operational methods in
coordination between tankers, AWACS and fighters?

         Why was the delegation briefed on tactical military air
traffic control, which is used in U.S. war fighting?  Why were
they briefed on TACAN systems on remote deployed battlefields?

         Why was the Chinese delegation shown the mobile
microwave landing system, with its essential elements of
information?

         In addition to the written explanation of the above
questions, we request a verbal in-depth briefing on the Chinese
delegation's program from Lt. Colonel Jim Robilotta, Director,
International Civil Aviation Policy, DOD Policy Board on Federal
Aviation.  Lt. Col. Robiletta accompanied the Chinese delegation
throughout their May visit.

         Please make written details of the activities listed in
the 1999 Game Plan available to us and an explanation of how the
Military Exchange program will be restructured to address our
concerns.  Thank you for your assistance in this important
matter.

                  Sincerely,



_________________________________________________________         
Dana Rohrabacher, Chairman            Dan Burton,
Science Subcommittee on Space         Chairman
and Aeronautics                       House Committee  
                                      on Government Reform


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