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China's Implication In Nuclear Dealing Brings Germany's Reactor Sale Issue Up Again
"Spiefel-Online" ^ | February 17, 2004 | Matthias Gebauer

Posted on 02/17/2004 11:13:34 AM PST by longjack


China's participation in atomic smuggling

Fissionable material for the coalition

by  Matthias Gebauer

The new dislosures about China's role in the sale of nuclear know-how has the discussions over the export of the Hanau fuel element plant boiling up again. Some Greens are threatening openly with the end of the coalition if Chancellor Schröder allows the deal to go through.

Regierungs-Team Schröder/Fischer: Suche nach einer Lösung ohne Gesichtsverlust
Governing-Team Schröder/Fischer: Looking for a solution without losing face.
Berlin - Green party leader Angelika Beer didn't want to say much about the Hanau topic during her press conference on Monday. "There isn't any new position", as she tried out, tight-lipped, a harmless statement, "the investigations are still undergoing". Nevertheless, she indicated the Greens were still looking for "a political solution" to prevent the sale of the atomic plant to China" to be sure, though, this can only happen by consensus within the red-green coalition, according to Beer.

Within her own party Beer's position isn't a consensus. On the contrary: after new discoveries from documents handed over by Libya, which, for the first time, give evidence of China's former role in the international cartel of illegal trading of atom technology, many greens and SPDers aren't going to be content with the playing out of the clock by their executive level members, and are already working intensely on threat scenarios in opposing the deal set up by the Chancellor.

Over the weekend it became known that parts of the Libyan atomic know-how, disclosed by the Gaddafi regime, come from China. For the investigators, the suspicion that Pakistan had sold Chinese plans for an obsolete, but still functional, atomic bomb to Libya in the eighties seems reasonable now. Even when the Chinese government emphasizes, in the meantime, over and over, that it doesn't sell its atomic technology any more, and that it abides by the internationally proscribed restrictions, the passing on of plans to Pakistan back then raises doubts about the reliability of these assurances.

"Once the plant is in China controls are of no use"

Export-Artikel Brennelementefabrik: Bis heute kein Standort in China
Export-item fuel element factory: Still no site in China
For the Greens Winfried Nachtwei, the export plan is no longer tenable after the reports over the weekend. "With the new evidence you can clearly see that effective control is no longer possible once the plant is in China", he believes. From other experiences we know that China takes apart acquired plants piece by piece , copies the  technology, and then makes it themselves, says Nachtwei. Consequently, even though supervision of the plant itself is being planned by the Federal Government, we are threatened by the export of segments of the technology throughout the world. "At any rate, therefore, the export must  be stopped", he demands.

The new information has escalated the smouldering conflict over Hanau again. Several of the more prominent critics are already openly making the issue one of life or death for the red-green coalition if Gerhard Schröder and Secretary of State Joschka Fischer follow through as planned. "If the Chancellor punches the sale through in some way, it will be highly explosive for the coalition", threatens green representative Winfried Hermann. Colleague Nachtwei is quite consciously backing "deterrence" in the direction of the Chancellor's office over the Hanau case. He speaks of a "Highly explosive Dynamic" for the governmental team if there is an export permit.

The new information from the international atomic investigators is aggravating for the duo Schröder/Fischer. It had quieted down over Schröder's China bomb after the first hysterical protests, now both have to be irritated by the critics again. Officially, though, the foreign and the chancellor's office are indeed still checking conditions for the sale of the re-enrichment plant to China. There exists, however, after the chancellor made a personal promise on his China trip last year, hardly any doubt that Schröder wants to have the plant exported.

Till now, the issue was merely about control guarantees by Beijing for the German plant to be re-built in China. The disclosures about the smuggling in the eighties have increased the distrust now: German know-how could become, independently of its use in China, merchandise of international nuclear traders. The opponents of the deal fear, namely, once technology has been copied there, controls at the plant mean nothing.

The Illusion of Civilian use 

Schröder in China: Frust über den Spontan-Kanzler
Schröder in China: Frustration with the spontaneous-Chancellor
The green opposition received further ammunition for their criticism during a meeting with experts last week. The experts explained that China doesn't have any use for the Hanau plutonium plant at present since it doesn't possess the necessary raw materials. In addition, they described that in China the military and civilian nuclear sectors aren't separable since both complexes are organized into a state-owned company. For Winfried Herrmann, it is therefore certain that "a civilian use of the plant is more than improbable".

The critics see a further argument for their doubts in the fact that, to this day, China's government doesn't want to say where the German plant will be eventually reconstructed. The export opponents are afraid that the Chinese are interested only in a technologic import, so they can further tinker with the cheaply attained know-how. 

The almost forgotten Hanau issue now becomes a stress test once again. The green critics have, in any event, increased their threat potential considerably because of the coalition question. Moreover, they also have activated their base. In the meantime, there is a petition of 400 municipal and district Greens who are demanding a special party convention, over the future of the coalition, in the case of the sale. Besides the government's many other problems, this would be another nail in the coffin for the Schröder cabinet.

Reprimand for the whip

Green-Politico Nachtwei: "Highly explosive dynamic for the coalition"
It will be even trickier for Schröder since his own ranks are no longer keeping quiet. Even though designated SPD party leader and parliamentary group whip Franz Müntefering has already given a green light to him if the legalities are in order, the parliamentarians don't want to join in. Müntefering has already had to listen this openly from his number two men, Michael Müller Und Gernot Erler. Experts in the parliamentary group even claim that the critical mass in the SPD parliamentary group is about 80 per cent, which will be to difficult overcome, even with a commando from the Chancellery.

The last hope for Schröder's negotiators now is that China's government itself calls the Hanau deal off. Some of the people involved have already painted a scenario, in which one wouldn't be content with normal standards for control conditions for the plant, would demand more frequent checks and so drive up the costs for the Chinese. In the end, so the hope, Beijing could lose the interest in the deal.


"Der Spiegel"....Spaltmaterial für die Koalition

Translated by longjack

17. Februar 2004 

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Germany; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2004; 200402; china; eussr; fischer; fuelelement; fuelelementplant; germany; greens; hanau; joschkafischer; libya; nuclearpower; nukes; pakistan; plutonium; proliferation; qadeerkhan; qadeerkhannetwork; reactor; schroeder
This is a big test for Schroeder, IMHO.

Schroeder's been riding the Greens and SPD hard, and has been able to force them into decisions with threats of resigning and thereby, forcing new elections. They would most likely lose new elections, and lose power.

He's weak, now. This could be the issue that breaks him. I'm curous to see if the greens and SPD bail again.

Also, Fischer made his political entry by opposing the opening of this plant in Hanau, catapulting him into the government in Hesse. Ironic.

Siemens owns this, too. I wonder if there is any connection to this and Siemen's recent announcement that they're outsourcing?


1 posted on 02/17/2004 11:13:41 AM PST by longjack
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To: americanbychoice; An.American.Expatriate; a_Turk; austinTparty; BMCDA; CatoRenasci; demlosers; ...
German Ping.

Please let me know if you want to be on or off this list.

2 posted on 02/17/2004 11:15:45 AM PST by longjack
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To: DonaldDuke
I thought you may like to see this since it does involve Fischer, who we were talking about on another thread, indirectly.


3 posted on 02/17/2004 11:18:38 AM PST by longjack
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To: longjack
Thanks for the ping. Very interesting. Fischer is actually pushing for this? How much is he in the front here with Schröder?
4 posted on 02/17/2004 11:26:43 AM PST by DonaldDuke
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To: longjack
So far Fischer has shown himself willing to do just about anything to stay in power. That included agreeing to send the Luftwaffe to bomb Belgrade, symbollically repeating what Hitler did in the 1940s.
5 posted on 02/17/2004 11:38:56 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: DonaldDuke
I can't say he was pushing for it, but he more or less passed it off as a business matter that government shouldn't interfere with.

Siemen's owns the plant. In the 80's Siemens never really got the plant online because of the protestors, Fischer especially. Environmental issues were forefront. As if the environmental issues don't exist in China, right? Quite hypocritical.

Fischer's plight is symbolic of the beating the greens have been taking from Schroeder. I translated an article a couple of months, but haven't posted it yet, about the wheeling and dealing Schroeder and Fischer do, and how they have the parliament intimidated.

This issue may be the line in the sand, though.

Schroeder's just given up the party whip role, people are p*ssed at the reforms package for various reasons; There had been hope of abolishing the much hated Doctor's Office Tax, but yesterday the SPD just told the Germans 'tough sh*t, they're staying'; the SDP couldn't get their act together to organize/institute/implement an autobahn toll for trucks and look like jerks because of it, among other things.

So, I think this reactor issue is the one. If the greens back off this environmental baby now they've sold out their core. Fischer is the alpha green, so we'll see what happens.


6 posted on 02/17/2004 11:42:29 AM PST by longjack
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To: Cicero
And this issue is the most hypocritical of all for Fischer.

It was with the high-profile Hanau issue that he catapulted himself into German politics. This is where he came in.


7 posted on 02/17/2004 11:45:51 AM PST by longjack
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To: longjack; Cicero
After all, I don´t think that the end of the coalition is near. It´s not that I do not wish to have a new government asap, but I´m tired of hoping at each new or old issue brought up. Personally, my last hope to bring down Schröder before 2006 is the state election in North-Rhine-Westphalia.

Bttt, it´s absolutely insane to deliver nuclear technology to the Chinese. What has happened to this men?? We know that the industry has no moral, but at least the government should act consistent with our security strategy.

Cicero, to be honest, all major parties and politicians in Germany supported the strikes on Yugoslavia in 1999, and I´m convinced of the necessity to do so, too. Only the Commies were opposed to it.
8 posted on 02/17/2004 12:30:40 PM PST by Michael81Dus
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To: Michael81Dus
this men

these men

9 posted on 02/17/2004 12:31:58 PM PST by Michael81Dus
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To: Michael81Dus; Cicero
I agree with cicero.

Fischer = Greens

Greens & war? How does that fit?

Greens & war, not in self-defense, outside German Borders? Even less of a fit.

Fischer is hypocritical, the alpha Krötenschlucker.

Anyway, let's see if the greens can stand their ground on this issue.


10 posted on 02/17/2004 12:56:52 PM PST by longjack
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To: longjack
Greens & war? How does that fit?

Well, if it's for the children ;)

11 posted on 02/17/2004 1:17:23 PM PST by BMCDA
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I forgot :^(


12 posted on 02/17/2004 2:26:31 PM PST by longjack
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To: longjack
Yeah, that and the fact that X42 (soulmate of the European lefties) was also in favor of going to war.

Of course, a conservative POTUS would have caused the opposite reaction - like marching on the streets with rainbow flags and complaining about the deaths of innocents. And not to forget the chiiiildrun.
13 posted on 02/17/2004 3:01:39 PM PST by BMCDA
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