From the Associated Press, "U.S. Hiring Hong Kong Co. to Scan Nukes":
In the aftermath of the Dubai ports dispute, the Bush administration is hiring a Hong Kong conglomerate to help detect nuclear materials inside cargo passing through the Bahamas to the United States and elsewhere.
The administration acknowledges the no-bid contract with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. represents the first time a foreign company will be involved in running a sophisticated U.S. radiation detector at an overseas port without American customs agents present.
Freeport in the Bahamas is 65 miles from the U.S. coast, where cargo would be likely to be inspected again. The contract is currently being finalized.
The company's deep communist ties went unreported...
From Judicial Watch, via Wikipedia.
A previously declassified US intelligence report has stated “Hutchison Whampoa’s owner, Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, has extensive business ties in Beijing and has compelling financial reasons to maintain a good relationship with China’s leadership.” Another report US intelligence report states, "“Li is directly connected to Beijing and is willing to use his business influence to further the aims of the Chinese Government. He has positioned his son, Victor Li, to replace him in certain Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa operations such as HW’s Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT). ... Li’s interest in the Panama canal is not only strategic, but also as a means for outside financial opportunities for the Chinese government.”
"Li has invested more than a billion dollars in China and owns most of the dock space in Hong Kong. In an exclusive deal with the People's Republic of China's communist government, Li has the right of first refusal over all PRC ports south of the Yangtze river, which involves a close working relationship with the Chinese military and businesses controlled by the People's Liberation Army,� the AFP report stated.
"Li has served as a middle man for PLA business dealings with the West. For example, Li financed several satellite deals between the U.S. Hughes Corporation and China Hong Kong Satellite [CHINASAT], a company owned by the People's Liberation Army. In 1997 Li Ka-Shing and the Chinese Navy nearly obtained four huge roll-on/roll-off container ships, which can be used for transporting military cargo, in a deal that would have been financed by U.S. taxpayers.�
According to the Thompson Committee, Hutchison Whampoa's subsidiary, HIT, has "business ventures with the China Ocean Shipping Company(COSCO) which is owned by the People's Liberation Army.�
COSCO, which failed in a notorious Clinton-backed attempt to lease the former U.S. Naval base in Long Beach, Calif., has been criticized for shipping Chinese missiles, missile components, jet fighters and other weapons technologies to nations such as Libya, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, the AFP report revealed.
From World Net Daily:
A Senate Committee on Foreign Relations staff report on the privatization of the Panamanian ports dated May 14, 1997, identified Hutchinson's subsidiary HIT, or Panama Ports Company, as being 10 percent owned by China Resources Enterprise (CRE), which is the commercial arm of China's "Ministry of Trade and Economic Co-operation."
During the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee hearings, the South China Morning Post on July 16, 1997, quoted Sen. Fred Thompson as saying China Resources was "an agent of espionage - economic, military, and political - for China."
"China Resources denied allegations it helped spy for Beijing. Chairman Gu Yongjiang said claims made during United States Senate hearings on campaign finance abuse were 'total nonsense,"' the paper reported.
Also, a Lippo Group connection to CRE can be found from the hearings which focused on illegal foreign contributions. Marine hopes an investigation can reveal if those contributions are responsible for the situation at the Panama canal.
Thompson's summary of hearings into 1996 campaign finance abuses stated: "Lippo group, run by the Riady family which employed (John) Huang, had over the past few years become a major business partner with China Resources, a trading company wholly owned by the Government of the peoples republic of China, and which has reportedly served as an intelligence-collection front for China."
The South China Morning Post article stated China Resources (Holdings) "has solid relations with the Lippo Group. In 1992 it acquired 50 percent of the Hong Kong Chinese Bank, which is also 50 percent owned by Lippo, and sold the stake to its listed arm China resources Enterprise last month."
The Post quotes Thompson saying "Lippo had shifted its strategic center from Indonesia to China ... much of the conglomerate's business now involved joint ventures with China Resources and the latter had a more geopolitical purpose. Kind of like a smiling tiger; it might look friendly, but it's very dangerous."
Marine mentioned to WorldNetDaily the famous photograph of President Clinton giving a radio address with representatives of China Resources looking on.
On Jan. 2, 1997, Emily Lau replied to Bill Bright's query about Hutchinson. Lau at the time was a Hong Kong legislator until China dissolved the legislature. Her note reads, "The major shareholder of Hutchinson is Mr. Li-Ka Shing, one of the richest men in HK and a close advisor to the Chinese Government. I am not familiar with the situation in Panama but I have full sympathy for your worries."
The Senate report muses: "A question to consider is the extent that the PRC can, if at all, pressure Ka-Shing into altering his business practices to favor mainland China."
An October 1996 Journal of Commerce article by Joe Studwell reported, "When Hong Kong reverts to Chinese rule in July, tycoon Li Ka-Shing, uncrowned prince of the colony, is sure to be standing next to the top leaders of Beijing. Li's flagship Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. gives him the best connections with top Chinese government officials of any local tycoon. Its core is Hong Kong International Terminals Ltd. (HIT), the largest box handier in Hong Kong...."
The Senate Foreign Relations report also revealed Hutchinson's subsidiary HIT had business ventures with COSCO, the China Ocean Shipping Company. The Chinese army owns COSCO.