Defense Conversion

NSIAD-96-230R: Published: Sep 30, 1996. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the U.S.-China Joint Defense Conversion Commission's (JDCC) activities. GAO noted that: (1) China's approach to defense conversion has been to integrate military and civilian production; (2) the Commission on Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND) is the chief body in the Chinese government responsible for defense conversion, but some China specialists have suggested that COSTIND authority may be waning; (3) the Department of Defense (DOD) stated that JDCC-related expenditures from August 1995 through July 1996 totalled about $55,600 and would probably total about $100,000 for the lifetime of JDCC; (4) there was no evidence to suggest that JDCC activities resulted in the transfer of U.S.-controlled technology or finances that would benefit China's military modernization; (5) U.S. government officials and documents identified the U.S. export control system as the primary safeguard against illicit transfer of technology from JDCC defense conversion projects to Chinese military modernization purposes; (6) in addition to U.S. export controls, the DOD Defense Technology Security Administration (DTSA) conducted a review of 49 JDCC projects proposed by China to identify potential exports of restricted items and technologies, but none of the projects of concern to DTSA were carried out; and (7) DOD officials participated in all JDCC bilateral delegations in China and the United States.

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