Franklin slams bid to block Beijing trip

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 January, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 January, 1993, 12:00am

US COMMERCE Secretary Barbara Franklin last night launched a strong attack against unnamed defence and security officials, accusing them of trying to sabotage her recent trip to China.

She hinted very strongly that certain security and intelligence officials were trying to isolate China by opposing President George Bush's policy of engagement with Beijing.

Without naming the Defence Department she clearly indicated that officials there had leaked misinformation to try to stop her mission to Beijing last month to restore high-level contacts with China suspended following the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

''I think it is no longer possible to isolate China,'' Mrs Franklin said.

''We are beyond the ability to isolate China. We end up isolating America.'' Her December trip to China and Hongkong was clouded in controversy over reported sales of military jet engines and a supercomputer to China.

Mrs Franklin denied that the sale of military jet engine technology was on her programme during her mainland visit and charged that there had been deliberate misinformation by people who wanted to isolate China.

However, she confirmed publicly for the first time that she supported the sale of a supercomputer to China for weather forecasting.

She said however that because of major differences within the Bush administration it was now unlikely that the sale could go through.