- Text smaller
- Text bigger
WASHINGTON — In 1991, when Bill Clinton let on he was running for the
White House, Arkansas fund-raiser Yah Lin “Charlie” Trie tried to
develop a sister city relationship between Little Rock and Changchun,
China — a key biowarfare research hub, sources say.
While visiting the Chinese city, where he eventually bought a home, Trie
brokered deals to export biotech equipment to a Changchun lab suspected
of being a Chinese army front for the manufacture of agents used in
biological weapons. Changchun is in Jilin province, which borders North
Korea. It’s also near Harbin, China’s new propaganda center for
“During one of his early visits to Changchun, Trie met with Zhang
Jianming, director of the Changchun Biological Products Institute,”
according to a copy of FBI summaries of interviews with Trie obtained by
WorldNetDaily. The lab, a unit of the Public Health Ministry, is run by
the Chinese communist government.
The news of a major Clinton donor transferring dual-use biotechnology to
China comes as Beijing is “investing huge resources” in its biological
warfare program, a source in China told WND.
Long-time Clinton friend Yah Lin “Charlie” Trie
Trie, convicted last year of breaking campaign-finance laws, was given
no jail time in exchange for his cooperation in an ongoing investigation
by the Justice Department’s campaign-finance task force.
In 1996, he gave close to $1 million to the Clinton-Gore reelection
effort and Clinton’s Legal Expense Trust. His money had to be returned.
Some gifts were laundered through Chinese sources, the FBI report shows.
Justice has agreed to let Trie testify under a grant of immunity before
the House Government Reform Committee. He’s scheduled to appear
Wednesday and Thursday.
Trie formed a close bond with the bio lab chief while in Changchun,
where Trie and his late wife bought a home for $20,000.
“Trie provided a letter of invitation for Zhang to use in obtaining a
visa to the United States,” the 150-page FBI reports says. “Once in the
United States, Trie accompanied Zhang on his travels.”
Zhang visited Little Rock and, in November 1992 — after Clinton was
elected president — he and Trie set up what appears to be a shell
company called United Biotech. The company had a bank account and a
Little Rock address, but no business plan or real income. The firm was
dissolved a year later.
But in that time, Trie helped Zhang procure a 132-gallon “medical
fermentation tank” from a New York-based manufacturer, according to the
“He got them the fermenting equipment to grow the bugs” used in germ
warfare, a senior Pentagon official told WorldNetDaily. Special agents
worry that the Chinese government may have used the apparent shell
company to acquire other biotech equipment.
“Trie was asked if he thought it possible, considering the high priority
the People’s Republic of China gave to acquiring advanced biotechnology,
that the United Biotech corporate name and address may have been used by
PRC purchasing agents to make purchases (from manufacturers) elsewhere
in the U.S.,” FBI agents said in the report.
Though Trie denies that happened, United Biotech isn’t the only trading
company he has set up.
A search of Arkansas secretary of state records for DBAs, sole
proprietorships and incorporations registered under Trie’s name turns up
no less than six import-export or international consulting businesses.
They include Jesco International Inc., Asian Pacific
International Inc., Daihatsu International Trading Inc., Premier
International Investment Inc. and T&L International Inc. At least one,
Jesco International, traded with China before going out of business.
According to the FBI report, the 50-year-old Trie had an ethnic-Chinese
“silent partner” — Dr. Peter P. Fu — who invested in Daihatsu
International. An FDA toxicologist, Fu met Chinese scientist Zhang in
Little Rock after Clinton was elected. Fu works for the National Center
for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Ark., which is about halfway
between Little Rock and Pine Bluff, Ark.
The federal lab, on a 496-acre campus, conducts experiments in
biochemical toxicology, genetic toxicology, neurotoxicology,
microbiology and molecular epidemiology, its website says. Some
pathology labs do studies of “microorganisms multiplying and producing
infections.” The center has an active lab-to-lab scientific exchange
program with a medical institution in China. And in 1993, it hosted an
“international group of inspectors interested in Biological Weapons
Trie told FBI agents he didn’t think Fu, 58, had any ties to Beijing. At
that, agents produced one of Fu’s business cards “indicating that Dr. Fu
has ties with two institutions managed by the PRC government.”
The biotech equipment transfer opens up a new and dangerous front in the
mushrooming Chinagate scandal, in which China’s People’s Liberation Army
spies conspired with Clinton-Gore bagmen to illegally sway the election
and influence White House trade and military policy. The PLA is
frantically trying to modernize its weapons systems, and needs U.S.
military technology to do it.
Despite the Clinton administration’s portrayal of China as a benign
“strategic partner,” Beijing has targeted Taiwan — and its military
ally by law, the U.S. — for missile attack. It’s also threatening
information warfare, or IW, such as hacking into U.S. computers to
create chaos and shorting communications with electronic pulses.
A former Brookings Institution defense analyst who’s now a consultant in
Beijing warns that Americans are worrying about the wrong kind of
unconventional warfare. Biowarfare, not IW, is the real threat, he says.
“Americans have focused on the computer virus attack stuff because
that’s particularly interesting to us, but the Chinese have actually
invested huge resources into uninhibited biotech,” the Beijing source
said. “They may be picking up some Soviet research into biowarfare as
He added that the PLA, through its front companies, is interested in
acquiring U.S. biotech equipment for use in “precisely this area.”
In Harbin, just North of Changchun in Manchuria, the Chinese government
has erected a museum on the former grounds of a Japanese biowarfare
testing center that used Chinese as subjects during WWII, the source
says. The museum is an important propaganda mill for the new Beijing
line that the U.S. used biological weapons against the Chinese during
the Korean War.
Even though China joined the Biological Weapons Convention in 1984, it
has violated the pact and maintained an offensive germ-warfare program,
according to a 1997 report by the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
That year, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had to concede to the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee that classified reports show Chinese
firms have shipped biowarfare equipment to Iran.
Clinton has maintained for years that biowarfare is a top national
security concern. “We’ve got to continue to meet the new security
challenges of the 21st century, especially the challenges of terrorism
and biological and chemical weapons,” he said Feb. 8.
Paul Sperry is Washington
bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.