DP World Part II: Hutchinson Whampoa Lte.
Reported by Janie - March 23, 2006
Yahoo News is reporting that the Bush Administration is hiring a Hong Kong firm, Hutchinson Whampoa Lte., to scan cargo passing through the Bahamas into the U.S. for nuclear materials. Hutchinson Whampoa, which is owned by the richest man in East Asia, does not have the best record. Is the Bush Administration setting up for ANOTHER battle of the same magnitude as the DP World debacle?
From Yahoo News:
"The administration acknowledges the no-bid contract with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. represents the first time a foreign company will be involved in running a sophisticated U.S. radiation detector at an overseas port without American customs agents present." (Emphasis mine)
But who exactly is Hutchinson Whampoa Lte.?
The company is owned by Li Ka Shing, the richest man in Hong Kong and as of March 9, 2006 - the 10th richest man in the world. According to a declassified U.S. Intelligence report, "Li is directly connected to Beijing and is willing to use his business influence to further the aims of the [Communist] Chinese Government. He has positioned his son, Victor Li, to replace him in certain Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa operations such as HWâs Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT). ... Liâs interest in the Panama canal is not only strategic, but also as a means for outside financial opportunities for the Chinese government."
Note: The phrase "Communist" above was my addition.
That's not all. There have been claims that Hutchinson Whampoa has many business dealings with front companies for the People's Liberation Army - China's military. And remember - there will be NO oversight by American customs agents.
But wait! There's even more. In March 2003 Richard Perle, one of the architects of the Iraq war and former Assistant Secretary of Defense, was forced to resign "after lobbying on behalf of Global Crossing, a bankrupt telecommunications company. Perle had attempted to persuade Hutchison Whampoa to buy the company. The FBI said at the time that selling Global Crossing to Hutchison Whampoa would give Whampoa control of the world's largest fiber optic network, and allow it to oversee existing contracts for secure Pentagon communications."
And guess who else owned stock in Global Crossing? George H.W. Bush! According to the right-wing news site, Newsmax, former President Bush received 80,000 shares of Global Crossing, in leiu of a speaking fee for a speech he gave in Tokyo in 1997.
Will this be another DP World Debacle? How long will it take before Fox covers this news?