Saturday, November 03, 2007

Hunter Calls Romney Out on China Connections

San Diego, CA - - - Presidential candidate and current Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Duncan Hunter, today called on former Governor Mitt Romney to send a “clear statement” to the leadership of the company he founded, Bain Capital, to terminate a proposed business deal with a controversial Chinese corporation seeking to acquire U.S. defense contractor 3COM. Bain Capital is attempting to form a business arrangement with Huawei Corporation, a Chinese corporation founded by an officer of the Peoples Liberation Army of Communist China, which faces allegations of assisting Saddam Hussein in the targeting of U.S. aircraft and in helping the Taliban develop surveillance equipment.

“I am extremely concerned that Governor Romney’s company would tout a highly suspect Chinese corporation as a strategic partner,” stated Hunter. “Forming a business partnership with a corporation known to have direct ties with terrorists and dictators while, at the same time, openly seeking to acquire a major U.S. corporation that performs vital cyber security work for the Department of Defense, can only be characterized as irresponsible.

A resolution has been introduced in Congress, H.Res. 730, which states; “The preponderance of publicly available evidence clearly suggests that as currently structured, the proposed transaction involving Huawei threatens the national security of the United States and should not be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States .” A copy of this resolution is provided.

Hunter stated in his letter to Governor Romney, “…while it is true that you no longer control Bain Capital, the contributions you have received from its principals as its founding member indicate that your influence within the company remains strong.

“Further, while the Committee on Foreign Investment has yet to rule on the Huawei transaction, this corporation’s connection to Saddam Hussein, the Taliban and the Army of Communist China should clearly disqualify them from becoming, in the words of your former company, “a strategic partner” in acquiring a U.S. firm such as 3COM, which performs vital cyber-security work for the U.S. Department of Defense.

“This letter is a request that you immediately issue a statement of policy that this transaction should be terminated on the grounds of national security.
Please let me know what you intend to do.”

A copy of Congressman Hunter’s letter, as well as two articles regarding Huawei acquisition efforts are provided. Media are encouraged to contact Gary Becks for additional information or to arrange an interview with Hunter.

"...We need to move away from the Kennedy wing of the Republican party" -Duncan Hunter

Update: Vauban Consulting blog...
From the Washington Times:

Senator Jeff Sessions, Alabama:

“If there is a loophole that is allowing valuable defense technology to be obtained by the Chinese military that will enable them to accelerate their military expansion, then we ought to close it,”

Representative Pete Hoekstra of Michigan:

“This sale raises the ongoing and thorny issues of illegal technology transfers to China, public reports of Chinese cyberattacks on U.S. government networks, repeated efforts by the Chinese government to gain access to military sensitive and classified technologies of the U.S. government, and continuing concerns about infringement of intellectual property rights by Chinese companies,”

Senator Christopher Bond, Missouri:

“It is troubling to me that a foreign military organization with interests in communications might obtain access to our security systems,”

From the International Herald Tribune:

Senator Jon Kyl, Arizona:

“Senator Kyl has serious concerns about the purchase of 3Com by a consortium that includes a company with numerous ties to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army,” said his spokesman, Ryan Patmintra.

Representative Thaddeus McCotter, Michigan:

“I wouldn’t trade with the Soviet Union, and I wouldn’t trade with China,”…. This is something that is a clear and present danger to our standard of living.

Oddly, the Democrats are pretty quiet about it. John Kerry made a typically anodyne statement of concern, but I couldn’t find anything else. Jim McGovern, the Massachusetts Democrat who represents the district where 3Com is headquartered, hasn’t said anything.

The technology in question, an intrusion prevention appliance made by 3Com subsidiary Tipping Point, is a well-respected tool that is one element of a larger security infrastructure.

Romney: Don’t ask, don’t tell
While Mitt Romney hasn’t worked at Bain, the company he founded, in years, his ties usually come up when Bain makes an investment that someone deems controversial. While there are a fair number of posts out there about Romney selling the US out to Chinese communists, he hasn’t addressed the deal directly.

It’s not surprising. The republican right is suspicious of his conservative credentials and the last thing he wants to do is to take a stand on this. Especially when he still gets something like US$8 million a year from Bain.



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