The Chinese Ministry of Security Services arrested Chinese defector
Hua Di in January 1998. It was reported that Hua Di was sentenced to 15
years in prison for passing missile secrets to America. According to
the New York Times “News” service, the Beijing High People’s Court has
decided to over-turn Hua Di’s conviction.
Yet, the true story behind Hua Di remains unpublished by the mass
media. Hua Di was an agent for the Chinese army. Hua Di led the
Chinese army intelligence penetration of the Clinton administration at
its highest level. Hua Di was not arrested in China but fled America
one step ahead of investigators.
In December 1997, I tried to contact Chinese missile expert Hua Di at
Stanford University in California. In 1996, he had given Aviation Week
and Space Technology detailed information on the Chinese Dong Feng-15
missile, the weapon China used during the 1996 Taiwan crisis. Hua had
published nothing really new about the DF-15 but I wanted his personal
comments as the “official source.”
Curiously, Hua Di would not grant an interview. In fact, immediately
after my call, Hua Di suddenly decided to return to China.
Hua Di came from a family of prominent Communist officials. He
studied missiles in Russia and worked in China’s missile program for 24
years. In 1984, Hua went to work for the China International Trust and
Investment Co. (CITIC) a firm part-owned by the Chinese army. Hua
joined the Stanford University study center after he fled China during
the Tiananmen Square crackdown in June 1989.
In late 1997, Hua Di flew to Hong Kong where he met with Chinese
security officials and was assured that he would not be prosecuted. On
Dec. 31, 1997, Hua returned to China. Later in 1998, the official
Chinese press announced that Hua had been arrested and charged with
passing state secrets to U.S. officials.
The Clinton administration and Stanford University have written to
the Chinese government appealing for Hua’s release.
In the process of looking for Mr. Hua, I also discovered Dr. John W.
Lewis, a Stanford professor who collaborated with Hua in writing books
on Chinese missiles. Lewis has since provided congressional testimony
on missile systems.
Stanford Provost Ms. Condoleezza Rice said, “Professor John Lewis had
provided evidence to the fact that the source materials for publications
written by him and Mr. Hua were provided by approved Chinese authorities
or already were available through the Stanford University library.”
Aviation Week, Janes and several other publications confirm the
Stanford position that the information Hua Di passed to the West was
Hua Di’s real role inside America, however, remains unpublished. In
1994, Dr. Lewis of Stanford and Hua Di were in business with the Chinese
army. Hua Di and Dr. Lewis joined with Chinese Gen. Nie Li, wife of
Chinese warlord Gen. Ding Henggao, entering into a joint venture called
Galaxy New Technology.
In 1994, Dr. Lewis was officially listed on the U.S. Defense
Department payroll as Defense Secretary William Perry’s personal
“consultant.” Dr. Lewis traveled to Beijing with Secretary Perry to
meet with Ding and his subordinate, Gen. Huai Guomo, as a consultant to
At the same time, Dr. Lewis also worked for Ding’s wife, Nie, in the
Galaxy New Technology joint venture.
In 1994, Dr. Lewis exported an advanced, AT&T, fiber-optic
communication system directly to the Chinese army. The project, named
“Hua Mei,” also drew a General Accounting Office report that was sharply
critical of the direct transfer to the Chinese army.
The key to the whole transaction was Chinese defector Hua Di, who
described himself as a “matchmaker” in the Hua Mei project. Hua Di also
noted that he was a good friend of Gen. Huai Guomo, the Chinese army
officer working for Gen. Ding.
Hua never answered how much he was paid for his “advice” from the
joint venture set up by Dr. Lewis and Madam Gen. Nie. Hua left America
before congressional and law enforcement investigators could question
him about his role in the fiber-optic deal.
But the Hua Di story does not end inside the Clinton administration.
In 1999, George W. Bush selected Condoleezza Rice as his foreign policy
advisor. Ms. Rice was deeply involved with Hua Di and Dr. Lewis.
Ms. Rice worked for George Bush Sr. in the White House, handling
Russian issues. She is a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution
at Stanford University, and has been mentioned on the short list of
replacements for Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
In 1996, Ms. Rice, as provost at Stanford University, investigated
Dr. John Lewis and the Hua Mei project.
“We’ll follow what is a normal process under these circumstances.
It’s not all that unusual that issues arise concerning conflict of
interest,” said Ms. Rice at the time.
Yet, nothing ever became of the Stanford investigation. Ms. Rice has
made no comment on the investigation. Today, Stanford officials and Ms.
Rice continue to maintain the fiction that Hua Di was not a spy and
nothing happened. Dr. Lewis, Dr. Perry and Ms. Rice have all refused
repeated requests for an interview.
Hua Di also served his masters in Beijing by passing false
information to the west. In 1992, Hua Di claimed the new Dong Feng-25
missile (Dong Feng, as it happens, translates as “East Wind”) was too
expensive to be deployed. Hua documented that the DF-25 is a mobile
two-stage missile capable of hurling a conventional 4,000-pound warhead
over 1,000 miles. However, Hua also documented its failure.
According to the co-author of “Red Dragon Rising,” William Triplett,
in August 1999 Clinton administration officials were shocked by Chinese
communist press announcements declaring the DF-25 to be fully
operational and tipped with multiple nuclear warheads. Triplett’s book
has put the White House on the defensive, trying to explain their
acceptance of the Chinese defector and his DF-25 disinformation.
Chinese defector Hua Di is not in prison. Hua was most likely given
a medal for serving the Chinese army through his espionage in America.
His involvement with Secretary of Defense Perry and the payment he
received as an advisor on the Chinese army’s “Hua Mei” project all
remain unanswered questions.
The difference between propaganda and the news is the truth. The
true story of Hua Di is filled with espionage inside the Clinton White
House. Hua Di was and remains a paid Chinese army agent.