The Pentagon has announced that Chinese Gen. Xu Caihou will visit the United States and meet with Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Oct. 26. Xu is vice chairman of the People's Liberation Army Central Military Commission. While here, Xu will visit American military installations around the U.S., including the U.S. Pacific Command.
Perhaps Xu will bring with him a note of thanks for the administration's decision to shift authority for approving sales of missile and space technology from the White House to the Commerce Department. As Bill Gertz points out in the Washington Times, the little-noticed "presidential determination" made Sept. 29 alters a key provision of the 1999 Defense Authorization Act.
That provision required that the president notify Congress whether a proposed transfer of missile and space technology to China would harm the U.S. space-launch industry or help China's missile programs. It was enacted after a Clinton-administration scandal in which U.S. companies were allowed to transfer technology that jump-started a troubled Chinese missile program.
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