Expect Chinese Nukes?!?

John A. Quayle blueoval at SGI.NET
Sun Nov 28 01:22:04 MST 1999

Retired admiral warns of China attack

A FORMER chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff said today
that China is preparing to take over the Panama Canal once the US
relinquishes control, warning of possible Chinese use of the area to launch
a nuclear attack on America.

        Retired Admiral Thomas Moorer said China plans to seize control through a
Hong Kong company, Hutchinson Whampoa, which has won the right to operate
ports on both sides of the canal. He contended that the firm has close
links to the Chinese military.

        Moorer commented at a news conference sponsored by the John Birch Society,
a rightist group opposed to the treaties. The treaties require the US to
surrender control of the canal and to remove all US troops by December 31.
Administration officials have previously dismissed allegations of an
eventual Chinese takeover of the canal as baseless.

        Moorer spoke as US and Panamanian officials met to discuss canal security
and other issues once the transfer to Panamanian control takes place.
Heading the Panamanian delegation was Foreign Minister Jose Miguel Aleman,
who conferred with US officials on a draft Panamanian plan to ensure
security over the waterway in the face threats from "terrorism, insurgency
organised crime". A statement issued by the Panamanian Embassy said the
draft plan also will be shared with eight other countries, including
Taiwan. China was not among the eight.

        Moorer, who served as Joint Chiefs chairman during the Nixon
administration, said China's missiles can carry "a nuclear payload or an
explosive payload, and they can also be mounted on a truck and moved around
- and, therefore, very difficult to keep track of.

        "And consequently, we have a situation where the Chinese are in a position
today to secret these kinds of missiles into Panama and use Panama as a
launching point for missiles to attack the United States," he said. "And no
one seems to get exercised over that and the media doesn't ever mention
that." He said the Chinese threat "is more difficult to handle" than the
Cuban missile crisis was.

        Moorer also disputed the administration contention that the US retains the
right after surrendering the canal to use force to ensure free passage in
the event of a takeover by hostile forces. He insisted that president Jimmy
Carter gave up that right in a secret agreement with Panama under which the
US would be allowed to use force only with Panamanian consent.

        A US State Department official said he had not seen Moorer's comments and
could not comment.

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