Space: China Slapped for Helping Iran


July 7, 2006: The United States has ordered sanctions on two Chinese missile technology companies. The Chinese are accused of providing missile technology to Iran. One of the Chinese companies, China Great Wall Industry Corporation ("Great Wall" for short) has long been accused of aiding the North Korean missile effort. Great Wall is owned by the Chinese government, but is run for profit, and its managers are under orders to make money, or lose their jobs. Great Wall earns most of its profits by putting foreign satellites into orbit. Great Wall does this more cheaply than anyone else, and has had 24 successful launches for foreign customers so far. The two Chinese companies are major suppliers of missile technology to the Chinese armed forces, but the export business is where they rack up their biggest profits. The American sanctions block the Chinese firms from using any American banks in their dealings. This is a major obstacle for any company selling internationally, because nearly all international financial transactions go through an American bank at one time or another. This means more headaches and expense for the two Chinese companies. But the American sanctions are not a major problem. Except, of course, for attempts by the Chinese government to establish links between the American and Chinese space programs. Great Wall is the major player for China in that area. The U.S. government cannot have any dealings with Great Wall because of the sanctions.


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