- NEW YORK - A Chinese man has been arrested in California, accused of trying
to buy equipment vital to missile guidance systems and smuggle it to his
homeland, The New York Times reported today.
- Federal officials in Washington said
China was bidding to enhance the accuracy of its long-range weapons with
the high-tech American equipment, whose export is rigidly limited by the
- The man, Yao Yi, tried to buy fiber optic
gyroscopes from a Massachusetts defense contractor, according to a criminal
complaint filed in federal court in Boston.
- The State Department refused to approve
the sale, and Yao then allegedly secured export of the gyroscopes from
another Boston company " actually a dummy corporation set up by the
U.S. Customs Service as part of a sting operation, the paper said.
- Yao was arrested at a fiber optics conference
in San Diego on Feb. 22.
- Federal officials suspect that Yao, who
claimed to need the equipment for a Chinese superspeed railroad project,
was buying for the Chinese military.
- The gyroscopes Yao allegedly tried to
buy can be used for railroad projects, but federal officials scoffed at
Yao's story. One official told the Times that using a gyroscope for a railroad
project was like flying an F-14 to a grocery store.
- One of Yao's associates, Collin Xu, was
arrested in Boston two weeks ago with fiber optic gyroscopes in his possession,
federal officials said.
- The Pentagon last week reported to Congress
that China is decades away from being able to send missiles far beyond
its borders. But the Pentagon said that China's cruise and ballistics missiles
will give it the ability to attain military and political goals through
- U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
arrived in the Chinese capital, Beijing, on Sunday and was expected to
criticize China's missile stockpiling.