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By NWV News writer Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
January 31, 2011

The Defense and Energy departments are working under a government-to-government agreement signed January 19 with China to establish a regional center of excellence there for nuclear security, according to American Forces Press Service's Cheryl Pellerin.

In a statement from the Pentagon, Rebecca K.C. Hersman, deputy assistant secretary of defense for countering weapons of mass destruction, claims the effort will allow the agencies to leverage their expertise and resources for "maximum effect to President Barack Obama's nuclear security agenda."

However, critics said this announcement -- ignored by most news media outlets -- reveals that President Barack Obama and his national security team are either wrongheaded or have a hidden agenda in its relations with the People's Republic of China.

"Are we returning to the days when we handed the Chinese technology that assists them in creating better weapons to threaten the US with?" asked political strategist Mike Baker.

In April 2009, from Hradcany Square in Prague in the Czech Republic, Obama called for reducing the number of nuclear weapons in the world and building a new framework for civil nuclear cooperation, according to Pellerin in a report to the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

A year later at the Nuclear Security Summit here, the United States and China agreed to strengthen cooperation in nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear security and the fight against nuclear terrorism, she said. Also at that summit, Chinese President Hu Jintao promised to build the Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security outside of the PRC capital of Beijing.

According to an Energy Department fact sheet, the agreement paves the way for its National Nuclear Security Administration and the Defense Department to work with Atomic Energy Authority representatives in China to create a central site for training in all aspects of nuclear security.

"In many ways, the [Department of Defense] is the supporting player here to the broader DOE objectives," Secretary Hersman said, "but DOD brings strengths to table, particularly in ... site security, transportation security, incident response [and] inventory management, as well as experience in developing and providing training and curricula for nuclear security."

DOD and DOE have worked together in the past, she noted. "These are all things we have done on multiple occasions directly and in support of DOE," Hersman said, "so we see this as a natural fit for the [Center of Excellence] effort, which is expected to incorporate all these elements."

According to several intelligence sources, including former military intelligence officer Sid Franes, this center will serve as a forum for exchanging technical information, sharing sensitive information, developing training courses, and promoting technical collaborations to enhance nuclear security in China and throughout Asia.

"I'm aware that the Chinese hold almost of trillion dollars of [US] debt, but are we going to hand them secrets or information that can be used to uncover secrets to a nation that has repeatedly acted duplicitously towards the U.S. and the American people?" asks Franes, who also served as an NYPD detective in it's intelligence division.

Not only will the U.S. assist the Chinese, but will also help finance the two-story center through a U.S.-China cost-sharing arrangement and is expected to be complete by 2012, said Dave Huizenga, principal deputy assistant administrator in the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration.

"This cooperation is largely with the nonweapons side -- the Chinese Atomic Energy Authority, which runs their civilian research facilities and has a role in their nuclear power facilities,"
Huizenga said. "But the hope is that if we share best practices and this information gets to [the nonweapons] part of the Chinese nuclear sector, the defense people will benefit from it indirectly."

"We've had a robust best-practices sharing exchange of information on physical protection and guard forces and materials control and accounting -- all the things you do to make sure that nuclear materials stay in the facility where they're supposed to be and aren't moved off illicitly," he said.

The agreement has taken such cooperation to a new level, he added.


"We've had a small facility where we've been doing this training since 2005," Huizenga said. "But we want to consolidate everything into one larger mock-up training center so we can bring Chinese and others in the region into a state-of-the-art facility where they can get hands-on experience understanding what a guard would do if an alarm went off on the fence on the perimeter of a nuclear materials storage site, for instance."

The center, Hersman added, also likely will offer the following:

-- Training nuclear site personnel to measure and account for nuclear material and to design and install nuclear material security systems;
-- Training protective force personnel using scenario-driven threat-response exercises;
-- Training personnel on international nuclear safeguards requirements and inspection techniques; and
-- Environmental testing of nuclear security system components.

Several Washington, DC insiders -- including former Assistant Secretary of the Army Van Hipp -- believe this latest U.S.-Chinese plan smacks of betrayal of the American people.

"How will such a joint project benefit the American people? It doesn't. It merely allows the progressives in the Obama Administration and both houses of Congress to continue their decades-long practice of cooperating with hostile nations in order to garner political and financial benefits," said Baker.

"Remember how Clinton and Bush turned over missile technology? As a result of those actions, the Chinese were able to develop a stealth missile that renders U.S. missile defense systems useless," Baker told < >

According to a White House fact sheet, the U.S. and Chinese governments have cooperated since April 2004 to enhance nuclear security. In 2005, the U.S. and China sponsored a joint technology demonstration at the China Institute of Atomic Energy outside Beijing that featured established nuclear security and international safeguards technologies and illustrated nuclear security best practices.

Since 2005, experts from the United States and China have conducted more than 15 workshops on nuclear security issues and activities.


While the Obama White House desires stronger military contacts as one of the tangible gains it hopes to win from Chinese President Hu, Obama is not expected to address the rampant Chinese espionage within the U.S. military and private-sector corporations such as Lockheed-Martin and Boeing.

The United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation and Britain's MI5 suspect upwards of 15 foreign intelligence services are working within the UK and are a threat to the United Kingdom's interests, and the primary focus of their counterespionage efforts are the Chinese and Russians.

Using many of the same methods the Japanese used in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, the Chinese are interested in any and all information that may give them a leg up in the competitive global economy as well as increasing their military prowess.

In spite of repeated warnings to businesses, companies in the US and UK continue to hire Chinese workers without conducting thorough background investigations or verifying previous employment.

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Chinese government officials and businessmen are proven aggressive in their attempts to find out everything about how Western companies operate and how they are structured. It is old-fashioned human intelligence gathering -- it's thousands of years old and it works. Taking a page out of Sun Tzu's "The Art of War," they believe intelligence operations will give them the victory they seek, whether in terms of military strength or industrial success.

Using tactics such as sending visiting delegations of Chinese businessmen, the spies are able to penetrate what little security companies employ to thwart theft of information.

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