The Cox Committee report released today documents serious counterintelligence failures stretching over the past two decades. It also concludes that the espionage efforts by the Chinese government are on-going. Representative Cox and his Ranking Member, Representative Dicks, are to be commended for conducting this investigation into potentially volatile subjects in a fair, studied, and bipartisan manner. Now, it is incumbent on Congress to review the report and its recommendations in a fair, studied, and bipartisan manner. We must also ensure that all Chinese-Americans and Chinese people here in the United States are not tarnished by the allegations made against a few.
Because the security breaches have occured over a twenty-year period, it is fair to question why successive Administrations either did not see the violations or may have been slow to respond to them. In the push for a warm relationship with China, the temperature of which is overwhelmingly controlled by the Chinese government, there are many people who have been disinclined to focus on any behaviors which could be perceived as stirring up trouble. We have seen this pattern in terms of successive Administrations ignoring China's proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, its barriers to U.S. trade, and its egregious human rights abuses. U.S. China policy discourages a realistic assessment of the state of the relationship at any given time.
In the early 1980's, then Commerce Committee Chairman Dingell raised concerns about possible espionage at the national labs. The Reagan Administration declined to prosecute. So did the Bush Administration. While I have many serious disagreements with the Clinton Administration's China policy, it is important to recognize that this Administration has acted on its own to take steps to solve the security problems at the national labs. Now, Congress, too, must act to protect our national security interests against foreign espionage.
As a Member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am aware of the full nature and extent of the Cox Committee's findings, the legitimate questions the report raises about actions which may have compromised our national security, and the implications of the security breaches.
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