Time: Thu Oct 02 09:21:50 1997
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Date: Thu, 02 Oct 1997 09:07:34 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Sen. Inhofe Changes Tack, Supports Ban of COSCO (fwd)

>The Washington Times
>October 1, 1997 
>Inhofe changes tack, supports ban of Cosco
>By Rowan Scarborough
>Sen. James M. Inhofe, responding to critics on yesterday's conservative
>talk-radio shows, said he is proposing legislation that would
>specifically bar China's giant ocean shipper from leasing the old Navy
>base at Long Beach, Calif. 
>. . . . Mr. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican and chairman of the Senate Armed
>Services Committee's subcommittee on readiness, was criticized for
>opposing a House-passed measure that would ban any state-owned shipper,
>such as the China Ocean Shipping Co. (Cosco), from leasing or owning
>closed military bases.
>. . . . Inhofe aides were quoted in yesterday's editions of The
>Washington Times as saying that the legislation was too broad, and that
>the senator would oppose its inclusion in the 1998 defense authorization
>. . . . The staffers also said the senator did not want to interfere in
>the prerogative of local communities to find new uses for installations
>closed by a base-closure commission, as Long Beach was in 1994.
>. . . . The comments in The Times drew a torrent of conservative
>lambasting, and yesterday Mr. Inhofe said he would propose an amendment
>that specifically names Cosco.
>. . . . "This was a bomb that exploded in my face on this thing," the
>conservative senator said of The Times' story.
>. . . . Mr. Inhofe said he broached the more restrictive language three
>weeks ago in a closed-door, Senate-House conference on the 1998 defense
>authorization bill.
>. . . . But in a letter to Mr. Inhofe five days ago, Rep. Duncan Hunter,
>California Republican and author of the anti-Cosco measure, portrayed
>the senator as an opponent.
>. . . . "Please advise me if you still insist on turning the former Long
>Beach naval base over to the Chinese government through its wholly owned
>and operated entity: Cosco," the letter said.
>. . . . The port of Long Beach had signed a lease with Cosco to operate
>the 144-acre site, once the base's buildings were leveled and a new
>container terminal built. But the lease was killed after
>environmentalists forced the port and the Navy to conduct a new impact
>study due for completion next spring.
>. . . . Mr. Inhofe's subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Cosco
>matter. The panel's ranking Democrat, Charles S. Robb of Virginia,
>opposes legislation that would bar Cosco, saying, through an aide, that
>the Pentagon has deemed the company not a security threat.
>. . . . Mr. Inhofe said he does oppose legislation that intrudes in
>local government decisions to convert closed military bases.
>. . . . "I don't want to interfere in that, but I do in the case of
>Cosco," he said. "Cosco has demonstrated they don't have our national
>security interests at heart."
>. . . . Mr. Hunter is spearheading a drive to defeat Cosco based on its
>checkered history. In 1996, a Cosco ship, the Empress Phoenix, was
>discovered carrying 2,000 automatic rifles destined for illegal sale in
>Los Angeles.
>. . . . The congressman, who heads the House National Security
>Committee's subcommittee on procurement, also says Cosco is the
>communist regime's vehicle for delivering nuclear-weapons components to
>Pakistan and Iran.
>. . . . Oliver North was among talk-show hosts criticizing the senators
>. . . . "I am greatly surprised that Jim Inhofe, who is usually a
>stalwart defender of U.S. security, has agreed to support this
>ill-advised venture," he said. "I urge both senators [Inhofe and Robb]
>to take another close look at the dangers inherent in allowing the
>communist Chinese government to control a significant portion of a major
>U.S. port, and I call on them to join their colleagues in the House to
>block this foolhardy venture."
>. . . . Mr. Inhofe issued a statement yesterday, saying: "I am
>absolutely opposed to the Cosco deal in Long Beach. This is a national
>security issue of major importance. But I want the legislative language
>dealing with this to be tightly drawn to target Cosco specifically by
>. . . . California's two Democratic senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne
>Feinstein, oppose any effort to block Cosco. The White House also
>endorsed the Cosco lease arrangement.
>. . . . Both Mr. Inhofe and Mr. Hunter explained their stands on
>talk-radio shows.
>. . . . "My message is, I talked to Jim, and Chairman Inhofe is on board
>on this thing, and everybody needs to call up [Virginia Democratic Sen.
>Charles S.] Robb's office and let him know where they stand," Mr. Hunter
>said in an interview.
>. . . . "It ought to strike a chord with liberals," he said. "This was a
>company caught red-handed smuggling 2,000 guns for street gangs in
>California. That ought to make liberals in American outraged."
>. . . . Cosco, a fast-growing shipper looking for new terminals across
>the globe, remains interested in signing a new Long Beach lease, a port
>spokeswoman said.
>. . . . But the Inhofe amendment would preclude that possibility. It
>reads, in part, "The secretary of defense shall impose as a condition on
>each conveyance of real property located at such an installation the
>requirement that the property may not be subsequently conveyed (by sale,
>lease, or other method) to China Ocean Shipping Co."
>. . . . Mr. Inhofe said he hopes to insert his amendment into the
>defense authorization bill at the next House-Senate conference meeting
>on the measure. The meeting has not been scheduled.
>Copyright ) 1997 News World Communications, Inc.

Paul Andrew Mitchell, Sui Juris      : Counselor at Law, federal witness 01
B.A.: Political Science, UCLA;   M.S.: Public Administration, U.C.Irvine 02
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