10 May 1999
The New York Times, 10 May 1999, Letters
To the Editor:
Re "What China Didn't Need to Steal" (Op-Ed, May 5): Much of the technology Gary Milhollin and Jordan Richie assert is helpful to China's nuclear program includes items that have been decontrolled by the United States, its allies and multilateral expert control regimes or whose, national security value is marginal at best. For example, the $15 billion, in "strategically sensitive exports" include early personal computers and their chips, modems and oscilliscopes, which are available around the world and were decontrolled.
If exports were restricted, China would still get computers -- from Singapore, Korea, Japan and its own manufacturing capabilities. The only loser would be United States national security, since our own companies would lose the lead on the technology resources we need to stay ahead of our adversaries.
WILLIAM A. REINSCH
Under Secretary for Export
Administration, Commerce Dept.
Washington, May 6,1999