COSCO, Poly Technologies, Chung, Trie


"COSCO is not a benign private commercial enterprise.
It is a wholly owned subsidiary of China's People's
Liberation Army. It serves as the merchant marine
of the Chinese military, and there is every reason to
believe it will do their bidding in terms of smuggling,
intelligence-gathering and weapons shipments."
Sen. James M. Inhofe 1


"[There] is a direct link between the White House
fundraising with China and assets that have gone
in favor of Communist China that could pose as a
national security threat to the United States.
I have intelligence reports that state so.
I have facts that also state so…"
- Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham 2



While reports vary on the exact length of time, the Chinese Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) has had a presence at the Long Beach Naval Station in Long Beach, California since the early 1980’s.3 They lease a portion of the space directly from the city. (71) In 1997, they attempted to lease the entire former 144-acre Long Beach Naval Station. (72) COSCO planned to demolish the existing structures and build a new $200 million terminal, thereby allowing its 600 ships to sail directly to America’s shores without having to pass through U.S. Customs.4

The following information, compiled or quoted directly from the related sources, details the sequence of events that lead Congress to stop the sale.

In 1992 "the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission fined COSCO $400,000 for paying kickbacks instead of legal tariffs."5

In 1993 "a COSCO ship was caught transporting 87 pounds of heroin into the United States."6

Another COSCO ship had been caught smuggling illegal aliens. The Coast Guard had cited various ships on 6 separate occasions for security infractions.7

In 1994, "John Chung began dropping money to the DNC, the very year the Clinton administration closed the base."8

"By April 1995, California records show, Chung had created the first two of at least seven export-import or real-estate companies that he has formed with foreign citizens."9 "He and Chen signed papers to incorporate the two companies that April 10. Two days later, Chung paid the party $125,000 to take Chen and others to the dinner with the president at Spielberg's house."10

In 1995, "while the National Security Council staff [worried] about Chung portraying himself as being sanctioned by Clinton to negotiate the release of human-rights activist Harry Wu from a Chinese gulag, Chung set up meetings with then-Democratic National Committee, or DNC, chairman Don Fowler."11 "They met on March 9, 1995, at about the same time Chung was providing Hillary Clinton's top aide, Margaret Williams, with a $50,000 political donation."12

After the DNC meeting, "Fowler arranged for Chung and COSCO representatives to attend a Clinton radio address. Chung and six Chinese ‘business executives’ listened to the radio address and, shortly afterward, Chung dropped $50,000 to the DNC."13

"Federal Election Commission records show several of [Chung’s] largest political donations were made as he created shell corporations."14

"In 1996, a Justice Department sting operation [known as Dragon Fire] exposed one of COSCO’s ships, which had smuggled and attempted to sell 2,000 AK-47s to California street gangs, with the promise of delivering missiles to knock a 747 airliner out of the sky."15

In 1996, President Clinton gave the Chinese $50 million for "trade." He also supplied them with a $137 million "nonrecourse" loan to build 5 new ships. A non-recourse loan means that if China defaults, the American taxpayers will make good on the loan.16

"Even as it denied payments had been made by the government of China to the Clinton/Gore campaign fund and other Democratic Party causes, the White House pressured preservation officials in the Navy, State Department and local government to abandon efforts to preserve the historic buildings at the naval station."17 According to news reports, Dorothy Robyn, working with preservationists to fight the lease, was urged by a Clinton appointee to "abandon their effort[s]."18

"In 1997, the New York Times raised questions concerning why a ‘Clinton-administration official made what several people involved describe as highly unusual telephone calls to push for construction of a container terminal that would be leased to a shipping company owned by the Chinese government.’"19

The Long Beach Harbor Commission reportedly supported the move, which would net millions in rent, $1 million in taxes, and several hundred jobs for the area.20 President Clinton, himself, affixed his "seal of approval" on the deal.21 The Administration forwarded the line that "`all intelligence agencies that briefed us have assured us that COSCO represents no threat to our national security."22

The people who reportedly made the "no threat" decision were former Secretary of Navy Dalton and former Secretary of State Haig.23, 24 Dalton is a former employee of Stephens Inc., a Little Rock, Arkansas-based investment banking firm.25 This is the same Stephens, Inc., that allowed John Huang to repeatedly use their offices to contact Lippo Ltd. after having attended top-secret meetings at the White House.26 This is the same Stephens, Inc. that has business ties with the Riadys.27 Further, Haig served on the advisory board for COSCO.28

The "brief" upon which the Administration claimed "no threat" was a complete fabrication. According to Rep. Cunningham’s April 15, 1997 statement, "the same intelligence briefers, the CIA, the National Security, the Coast Guard, have all stated that no such comment was ever made [or] ever intended." Further, "an updated report from the FBI…states that COSCO is currently actively involved in placing intelligence officers, spies, in all of their ports of call."29

Ultimately, it took an act of Congress to prevent the lease.30 Nevertheless, COSCO is once again attempting to lease another base, this time in Los Angeles. Further, it has secured an alternate route into America: "COSCO will this month launch a new TransPacific container service, and for the first time will use the Port of Vancouver as the gateway to U.S. destinations with CPR as the land carrier to Chicago. CPR is the only rail carrier that can move freight from the Port of Vancouver to Chicago over its own track."31


Poly Technologies


Poly Technologies was founded in 1985 as a subsidiary of China's powerful central bank, CITIC (China International Trust and Investment Corporation). CRS reports that Poly Technologies "(also known as Baoli) is a cover for COSTIND personnel under the General Staff Department’s Equipment and Technology Department."32

In 1994, President Clinton and the Congress passed the ban on assault weapons. The ban was effected for weapons manufactured after September 13, 1994. According to news reports, Poly Technologies used this "loophole" to dump a large amount of weapons into the American market.33

"According to a Scripps Howard report by Michael Hedges (which ran on the front page of the March 14, 1997 edition of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette) on February 2, 1996, the Clinton administration granted Wang Jun's Poly Technologies importation permits to flood America with over 100,000 semi-automatic weapons and millions of rounds of ammunition - despite the president's own gun ban."34

On February 6, 1996, three interesting things occurred at the White House:

  • Despite reports in January that China continued to export nuclear technology to Pakistan and missiles to Iran, President Clinton signed waivers for four satellite launches by Chinese rockets.35

  • Poly Technologies Chairman, Wang Jun, met with Ron Brown, head of the Commerce Department.36 Mr. Wang is a Chinese arms dealer and the son of one of China's most reactionary leaders, the late Wang Zhen, who advocated the massacre at Tiananmen.37

  • Later that night, Wang Jun attended a White House "coffee" session at the behest of Charlie Trie.38

Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie, a Little Rock restaurant owner turned DNC fundraiser, would become a frequent visitor to the White House. In April of 1996, President Clinton appointed Mr. Trie to the Commission on U.S. Pacific Trade and Investment Policy. Trie eventually funneled $640,000 of illegal campaign contributions into the President’s legal defense fund. Trie "agreed to plead guilty to two counts of violating federal election laws--one felony and one misdemeanor--and will receive a maximum of three years' probation, according to court papers."39

When COSCO’s ship was caught in the Justice Department’s "Dragon Fire" sting, a total of 2,000 illegal AK-47s were seized.40 These weapons were manufactured by Poly Technologies.41 Indictments would be brought against Jun and Robert Ma, Poly Technologies’ representative in the United States.42

"Poly Technology Executive Director, Xie Datong, stated on the record that the machine gun transfer did not require permission from the Chinese General Staff. Xie Datong, also a corporate officer of Poly's American subsidiary PTK, claimed the weapons were transferred from stockpiles from the General Logistics Division of the PLA."43

According to a May 23, 1996 Associated Press report, "Those arrested also discussed the sale of explosives, antiaircraft artillery and other powerful weapons with U.S. undercover agents, [Congressman Charles] Schumer said he was told. Rejecting the notion that those arrested were operating entirely on their own, Schumer said, ‘You can't export as many as 2,000 weapons from China unless you have someone in the government going along with this.’"44


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