Harry Wu blasts Israeli military ties to China

JERUSALEM — Chinese American human rights activist Harry Wu has criticized Israel's military ties to China, calling on the government to stop "dealing with evil."

Wu, 58, was expelled from China last week after being sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of espionage. He told Israel Radio that Israeli military officials were working hand-in-hand with the Chinese.

"I know that Israeli military experts right now in China are working very hard with Chinese military," he said in the interview, broadcast in Israel Sunday.

"This is a very bad decision," he said.

Wu said Israel should withhold its support for Beijing, which he likened to the fascist regime of Nazi Germany.

"If the Israeli people are really concerned about concentration camps, concerned about the Nazi fascists, they have to apply the same principles to China," said Wu, who accused the Chinese government of applying concentration camp techniques to its dissidents.

"Of course, Israel has its own problem with Iran, Iraq and Syria," he said. "But if you are dealing with an evil, how can you need another evil to support you?"

An Israeli Foreign Ministry official said Wu was overstating the amount of Israeli military assistance to Beijing.

"I am surprised at his attack," the official said. "It's not like the Chinese regime is depending on Israel and would crumble if it withdrew its support."

Israel and China established diplomatic relations in January 1992. Foreign Minister Shimon Peres visited there in May 1993, and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin made a stop there during a Far East tour in October of that year.

Israel has repeatedly been accused of selling sensitive U.S. military technology to China.

Rabin vigorously denied the charge during a meeting with Defense Secretary William Perry in January. In 1993, an extensive investigation conducted in Washington vindicated Israel of charges that it had sold Patriot missiles to China.

Wu was arrested in June while trying to enter China to document human rights abuses at prison labor camps. He was accused of stealing state secrets and impersonating a Chinese policeman, but was released and expelled this week amid international pressure.

It was his fifth trip to China since 1991. He spent 19 years in the labor camps before coming to the United States in 1985.

Wu, who lives in Milpitas, returned home to a reception of some 200 supporters in Sunnyvale this week. The city of San Jose was scheduled to hold a day in his honor.