May 19, 2011
US lawmaker blasts welcome for China military chief
WASHINGTON — A top US lawmaker on Wednesday angrily condemned the Pentagon’s red-carpet welcome for China’s military chief, charging it was putting sensitive defense secrets at risk.
“The Chinese military openly regards the United States as an enemy,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehinen said in a statement on People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Chief of General Staff Chen Bingde’s visit.
“There can be no doubt that every scrap of information this expert delegation collects will be used against us,” she said.
Chen was to tour four military bases during his week-long visit — the first trip to America by the country’s top-ranking officer in seven years — amid an effort by Washington to defuse tensions and mistrust with Beijing.
But Ros-Lehtinen warned “we should not undermine our own security by thinking we can make friends with self-proclaimed adversaries with hospitality and open arms.”
“Congress must immediately review existing prohibitions against giving Chinese officials access to sensitive information, and determine if they need to be strengthened,” she said.
Ros-Lehtinen said Chen’s planned visit to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada was “especially troubling, given its key role in our defenses against cyberwarfare and other high-tech threats.”
“China is actively engaged in cyber attacks against the US, including massive assaults on US government and civilian networks alike, especially those of the Department of Defense,” she said.
“Congress must immediately review existing prohibitions against giving Chinese officials access to sensitive information, and determine if they need to be strengthened,” said Ros-Lehtinen.
AFP: US lawmaker blasts welcome for China military chief.