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Friday, April 9, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 127

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EDITORIAL BOARD

John Harp                Ed De La Garza 
Michelle Norton     Jim Parsons 
 

With friends like these ...

Even as President Clinton met with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji in Washington Thursday to discuss improving U.S. relations with China, more reports surfaced regarding the Chinese theft of military secrets from Los Alamos, N.M.

In a story Thursday morning, The New York Times disclosed allegations that China had originally stolen U.S. technology in the 1980s, but when Chinese scientists failed to create a functional neutron bomb, Chinese spies returned to America in 1995 to obtain more information.

Considering the first reports of Chinese spying at Los Alamos, which came to light last month, it's really no surprise to find out that the affair had been going on far longer than we suspected. But what is surprising is that the United States seems not to have realized it was losing key military secrets for 10 years or more.

It remains infuriating to know that the White House might have ignored warnings from Cabinet members regarding national security and then covered the entire story up, justifying those actions by saying the spying matter was "old news."

Of course, the fact that the United States might have been the victim of this espionage isn't any reason for the administration to stop its efforts to open relations with China, is it?

If not, let's consider the issue of human rights, which has supposedly been very important to Clinton.

June 4 will mark the 10th anniversary of the Tienanmen Square massacre, in which the Chinese killed hundreds of students protesting for democracy. How far has China come in 10 years? Its policies regarding Taiwan and Tibet, plus the fact that it is still a far cry away from recognizing basic human rights, only drew a few words of regret from Clinton today.

Meanwhile, The Washington Times has reported that, since 1998, the United States has OK'd some $15 billion in strategic exports to China -- technology that could be used to develop sophisticated weapons, assuming the allegations of Chinese spying are true.

So our government is getting along swimmingly with China in financial matters but is compromising what it claims to stand for regarding spying and human rights? Check your books, President Clinton. It doesn't add up.

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