October 20, 1999
Jimmy Carter never would have been able to ram through his two
treaties giving away our Panama Canal if the Senate in 1978 could have
looked into the future and known that, when the U.S. Flag is lowered on
December 31, 1999, Red China would become its gatekeeper. But that's
what's scheduled to happen unless Congress takes immediate action to
Don't expect the Clinton Administration to interfere with China's
stunning beachhead in the Western Hemisphere. Clinton is hopelessly
indebted to the Chinese and their allies in Indonesia for financing his
presidential elections in 1992 and 1996.
China didn't need to send an invading army. Because of what is
euphemistically called "free trade," China has plenty of cash to buy
and bribe its way into our domain.
Communist China is the greatest national security threat to
America today and in the foreseeable future. At a major meeting in
Beijing in 1994, China designated the United States as its primary
China is rapidly building a modern war machine with 18 long-range
and 140 intermediate and medium range missiles. It's based on
espionage, theft, trade deals that include technology transfers, and
cash provided by a $60 billion-a-year favorable balance of trade.
Every month, China collects up to $6 billion in U.S. cash by
selling its slave-labor products to Americans, but China buys only $1
billion worth of U.S. goods. The Chinese pocket the $5 billion a month
difference and use it to build their military-industrial complex.
In order to cash in on the cash-rich Chinese, Panama manipulated
the bidding process, holding repeated rounds of bids, for leases for
the U.S.-built ports of Cristobal on the Atlantic end of the canal and
Balboa on the Pacific end. The 50-year leases were awarded to a
Chinese Hong Kong corporation named Hutchison Whampoa operating under
the name Hutchison Port Holdings.
Hutchison Whampoa had come in only fourth in the bidding, after
the Japanese firm Kawasaki/I.T.S., the U.S. firm Bechtel, and the
Panamanian American company M.I.T. For exclusive control of the two
ports, Hutchison Whampoa agreed to pay $22.5 million a year plus what
one Panamanian called "bucket loads of money" under the table, and
Panama's Law No. 5 was passed on January 16, 1997 to confirm the deal.
Law No. 5 blatantly violates the Panama Canal Neutrality Treaty,
Article V, which stipulated that only Panama is allowed in defense
sites. By giving Hutchison "priority" for its business operations, Law
No. 5, Art. 2.11d, also violates the treaty's Article VI, which
guaranteed "expedited" and "head of line" passage for U.S. warships.
Art. 2.10c of Law No. 5 gives Hutchison Whampoa the "right" to
operate piloting services, tugs and work boats, which translates into
control of all the Canal's pilots. Art. 2.10e grants the "right" to
control the roads to strategic areas of the Canal, and Art. 2.12a
grants priority to all piers, including private piers.
Art. 2.8 gives Hutchison Whampoa the right to "transfer contract
rights" to any third party "registered" in Panama. Those rights could
be transferred to China, or even Iraq, Iran or Libya.
The Hutchison leases even violate Panama's own constitution, Art.
274, which requires a plebiscite on Canal matters. None was held.
Law No. 5, Art. 2.1, also grants "first option" to Hutchison
Whampoa to take over the U.S. Rodman Naval Station, the Pacific port
facility capable of handling any warship. The Chinese will then have
the power to exclude U.S. warships while admitting Communist warships.
The billionaire chairman of Hutchison Whampoa, Li Ka-shing, was a
business and political buddy of the late Deng Xiaoping and now has the
same close relationship with both Jiang Zemin and the Riady financial
empire of Indonesia. No doubt that's why he controls most of China's
commercial ports and seaborne trade as well as most of the dock space
in Hong Kong.
Li was China's chief agent in facilitating China's smooth takeover
of Hong Kong in 1997. Hutchison Whampoa partnered in several
enterprises with China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), which is
directly controlled by the People's Liberation Army, and served as a
middleman in China's deals with the U.S. firms Hughes and Loral.
The Carter-Torrijos Treaties, bad as they were, gave the United
States the right to defend the Panama Canal militarily. The Chinese
leases, however, will make it impossible to do this without directly
confronting the Chinese Communist regime.
In 1996, when China was "testing" missiles to scare Taiwan before
its election, the United States sent warships to the area and China
responded by impudently threatening to "rain down fire" on Los Angeles
from its China-based ICBMs. Would Communist China do the same if it
bases its shorter-range missiles in Panama?
China will be able to ship its shorter-range missiles across the
Pacific, unload them at Balboa, and conceal them in warehouses until
the time is ripe. If Congress doesn't act immediately, we are heading
for a Panama Missile Crisis like the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
Fighting the battle against the Panama giveaway treaties in 1978
helped Ronald Reagan and a dozen Republican Senators to be elected in
1980. Saving us from Red China as the Panama Canal gatekeeper could
elect other Republicans in 2000. Who will step up to the plate?