Die Bush-Regierung glaubt an eine China-Iran-Connection beim Bau der A-Bombe, schreibt die New York Times: The Bush administration imposed penalties this month against some of China's largest companies for aiding Iran's efforts to improve its ballistic missiles. The move is part of an effort by the White House and American intelligence agencies to identify and slow important elements of Iran's weapons programs. The White House made no public announcement of the penalties, and the State Department placed a one-page notice on page 133 of The Federal Register early this month listing eight Chinese companies affected. The notice kept classified the nature of the technology they had exported. Since the Federal Register announcement, the penalties have been noted on some Web sites that concentrate on China and proliferation issues. President Bush has repeatedly praised China for its help in seeking a diplomatic end to the North Korean nuclear standoff. Some officials in the administration speculated in the past week that the decision not to publicize the penalties might have been part of an effort not to jeopardize Chinese cooperation at a critical moment in the administration's effort to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table. China has repeatedly vowed to curb its sales of missile technology, starting with an agreement with the first Bush administration in 1992, and expanded with the Clinton administration in 2000. But two of the largest companies cited in the State Department's list, China Great Wall Industry Corporation and China North Industry Corporation, known as Norinco, have been repeatedly penalized for more than a decade; each is closely linked to the Chinese military. A third company on the penalties list, the China Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation, or Catic, is one of the country's largest producers of military aircraft and was accused of diverting to military use sophisticated machine tools bought from McDonnell Douglas. Eighteen months ago, a senior State Department official, Paula A. DeSutter, referred to several of the companies as part of China's "serial proliferator problem," and told a Congressional commission on relations between the United States and China that although the Chinese government had often repeated its opposition to missile proliferation, "the reality has been quite different."


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