The Freeport, Bahamas port is getting
sophisticated new equipment from the USA
to detect radioactive materials in shipping cargo,
as a nuclear safeguard for the American shoreline
that is just 65 miles away.


The Bush administration gave a no-bid contract to a Chinese company, Hutchison Whampoa
to run the radiation detector without American customs agents present.
The chairman of Hutchison Whampoa - which also operates the Panama Canal
(and also owns the biggest shipping container company in the world, COSCO*) -
is Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing
who is close to alot of senior leaders of the Chinese government
and the Chinese Communist Party.

Nuke Scanner

Foreign firm to run nuclear tests for USA at port
(Chinese company would manage radiation devices in Bahamas)
MSNBC, Mar 24, 2006

...The Hutchison deal in the Bahamas illustrates how the administration is relying on foreign companies at overseas ports to safeguard cargo headed to the United States....Its billionaire chairman, Li Ka-Shing, has substantial business ties to China’s government that have raised U.S. concerns over the years....“One can conceive legitimate security concerns...And a U.S. military intelligence report, once marked “secret,” cited Hutchison in 1999 as a potential risk for smuggling arms and other prohibited materials into the United States from the Bahamas. Hutchison’s port operations in the Bahamas and Panama “could provide a conduit for illegal shipments of technology or prohibited items from the West to the PRC (People’s Republic of China), or facilitate the movement of arms and other prohibited items into the Americas,” the now-declassified assessment said. The CIA currently has no security concerns about Hutchison’s port operations, and the Bush administration believes the deal with the foreign company would be safe, officials said.

Supervised by Bahamian customs officials, Hutchison employees will drive the towering, truck-like radiation scanner that moves slowly over large cargo containers and scans them for radiation that might be emitted by plutonium or a radiological weapon. Any positive reading would set off alarms monitored simultaneously by Bahamian customs inspectors at Freeport and by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials working at an anti-terrorism center 800 miles away in northern Virginia. Any alarm would prompt a closer inspection of the cargo, and there are multiple layers of security to prevent tampering, officials said....Hutchison’s ports subsidiary said in a statement Friday from its headquarters in Hong Kong it was confident that Bahamian customs inspectors will notify U.S. authorities whenever it is appropriate...A lawmaker...expressed concern about the Bahamas deal, as did some security experts. They questioned whether the U.S. should pay a foreign company with ties to China to keep radioactive material out of the United States. “Giving a no-bid contract to a foreign company to carry out the most sensitive security screening for radioactive materials at ports abroad raises many questions"...“Money buys a lot of things. The fact that foreign workers would have access to how the United States screens various containers for nuclear material and how this technology scrutinizes the containers — all those things allow someone with a nefarious intention to thwart the screening.”....There are no U.S. customs agents checking any cargo containers at the Hutchison port in Freeport. Under the contract, no U.S. officials would be stationed permanently in the Bahamas with the radiation scanner....Contract documents obtained by AP indicate Hutchison will be paid roughly $6 million. The contract is for one year with options for three years....

Chinese firm hired to operate USA nuke detector
(its chairman tied to Communist regime)
World Net Daily, Mar 24, 2006

Amid the recent Dubai ports controversy President Bush assured Congress port security remained under U.S. supervision, but the administration is raising concerns again with its decision to hire a Hong Kong firm linked to the communist Beijing regime to monitor nuclear materials that pass through the Bahamas to the United States and other countries. A contract is being finalized with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., the world's largest port operator, to inspect cargo at Freeport, about 65 miles from the U.S. coast, where it likely would be inspected again, the Associated Press reported.

The Bush administration acknowledged the deal will mark the first time the sophisticated U.S. detection equipment will be used at an overseas port by a foreign company without the presence of American customs agents. Earlier this month, with Congress moving to overrule the White House, the Arab government-owned Dubai Ports World announced it would give up its management stake in a deal to operate some of the terminals at U.S. ports and transfer it to an American company.

Hutchison Whampoa was among the first to adopt U.S. anti-terror measures, but U.S. officials in the past have raised concerns about chairman Li Ka-Shing's significant business ties to the Beijing regime. "Li Ka-Shing is pretty close to a lot of senior leaders of the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party," Larry M. Wortzel, head of a U.S. government commission that studies China, told the Associated Press. As WorldNetDaily reported in 2003, declassified U.S. government intelligence reports uncovered by the public-interest group Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act portrayed Li's relationship with the Chinese government as close and influential. A U.S. Army South "Intelligence Update" stated, "Li is directly connected to Beijing and is willing to use his business influence to further the aims of the Chinese government."

Regarding Hutchison Whampoa's controversial takeover of the Panama Canal, the intelligence report stated, "Li's interest in the [Panama] canal is not only strategic, but also as a means for outside financial opportunities for the Chinese government."

An "Intelligence Assessment" from the U.S. Southern Command's Joint Intelligence Center stated Li "has extensive business ties in Beijing and has compelling financial reasons to maintain a good relationship with China's leadership." In addition, Li was the founder and a board member of the China International Trust and Investment Corporation, or CITIC. In a 1997 report entitled, "Chinese Military Commerce and U.S. National Security," the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy reported that CITIC acted as a "shell" or front operation on behalf of China's Peoples' Liberation Army. The Judicial Watch complaint concluded that the billionaire is "an agent of the government of the Peoples' Republic of China."

*Why COSCO wants Long Beach. WorldNetDaily, Sep 3, 1998 (The Chinese Overseas Shipping Co. is pushing harder than ever to secure a port facility at the former U.S. Naval Base in Long Beach, Calif....Despite the fact that other ports have been offered, the wholly owned subsidiary of the People's Liberation Army seems determined that Long Beach is its best strategic location....COSCO has a long history of being used by its Chinese military masters for spying and spreading chaos through smuggling of arms and drugs. "China's intelligence operatives are not stationed in embassies," explains Cmdr. Chip Beck, U.S. Naval Reserves (ret.) and a former CIA station chief. "They work out of banks, shipping companies and businesses." Several members of Congress have also confided that the Chinese use their industrial facilities and assets around the world as spy bases....See CHINA SPIES ON AMERICA


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~