Press Release

[Excerpt Re: Boeing and Hughes] State Department Daily Press Briefing 2 Jan 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
January 2, 2003
Filed under , ,

[Full Press Briefing]

QUESTION:  Well, can I do Hughes and Boeing charge letter?

MR. BOUCHER:  Okay.  How much do you want to know?

QUESTION:  Well, the Hughes company said they provided some information, some detailed information, because they were requests by insurance companies to investigate the failures of the launch.  Then what is wrong with doing so?

MR. BOUCHER:  All right.  Let me give you the basics on this.  We have sent a charging letter, a letter of charges, to Hughes Electronic Corporation and Boeing Satellite Systems, which was formerly Hughes Space and Communications.  Boeing purchased that entity from Hughes Electronics January 13th, 2000.  There are 123 charges that are detailed in this letter.  The letter is available from the Press Office or at the reading room located at 515 22nd Street, Northwest. It’s 32 pages long. You can read it.

Charges involve various violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms regulations in connection with misconduct of these corporations in the aftermath of the January 1995 failed launch of the Long March 2E rocket carrying the APSTAR II spacecraft, the February 1996 failed launch of the Long March 3B rocket carrying the Intelsat 708 spacecraft, and the transfer of detailed data relating to the Astra 1G satellite and the Astra 1H satellite.

Hughes Electronics Corporation and Boeing Satellite Systems took numerous actions in violation of established export controls and prohibitions and restrictions and of the bilateral agreement between the United States and China.  

The U.S.-China Launch Technology Safeguards Agreement formed the essential basis for the launch of all U.S. manufactured satellites from China. The charging letter provides a detailed analysis of the kinds of assistance that were not authorized by the Department of State despite well known defense trade sanctions related to China and repeated warnings not to engage in launch failure investigations. 

The number and the substance of the charges reflect the seriousness of the violations. Any assistance to improve the launch vehicle is clearly prohibited by the U.S.-China bilateral agreement on technology safeguards. 

The companies now have 30 days to respond to the charging letter. In their response, or within seven days of the service of that response, they can request an oral hearing, and then the administrative process will proceed. 

QUESTION:  If the insurance company demands detailed information, under State Department regulations, they are not supposed to provide anything?

MR. BOUCHER:  Again, they are bound by the agreements, by the conditions of the licensing, and those are what we expect them to adhere to.

QUESTION:  One last thing. Boeing company said they bought the branch from Hughes after all this had happened and they said they basically have nothing to do with the violations. What is your response to that? 

MR. BOUCHER:  I said Boeing bought the company from Hughes after all this had happened, but they’re still the responsible party to respond to these claims about the unit and what it did.

SpaceRef staff editor.