Woman exported N-reactor parts to Pak

Washington: A wealthy Californian woman of Chinese origin has pleaded guilty to conspiring to illegally exporting high-performance paint coats for a nuclear reactor under construction in Pakistan with China`s assistance.

Xun Wang, a former managing director of PPG Paints Trading (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., a wholly-owned Chinese subsidiary of US-based PPG Industries Inc, entered the guilty plea before judge Emmet G Sullivan of the US District Court of Columbia.

51-year-old Wang faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to USD 250,000. No sentencing date was set. As part of her plea agreement with the government, Wang has agreed to cooperate with law enforcement authorities, the Justice Department said.

Wang is accused of conspiring to export, re-export, and transship high-performance epoxy coatings to the Chashma 2 Nuclear Power Plant in Pakistan, a nuclear reactor owned and operated by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), an entity on the Department of Commerce`s Entity List.

In November 1998, following Pakistan`s first successful detonation of a nuclear device, the Department`s Bureau of Industry and Security added PAEC, as well as its subordinate nuclear reactors and power plants, to the list of prohibited end users under the Export Administration Regulations.

"At the end of last year, the Chinese subsidiary of a US company pleaded guilty to illegally exporting high-performance coatings for use in a Pakistani nuclear reactor," said US Attorney Ronald C Machen.

"Today we are pleased to see the former managing director of that subsidiary accept responsibility for her role in the crime. We also welcome the defendant`s decision to cooperate with the government in our ongoing investigation of this blatant violation of US export laws," Machen said.