Entries in Chemical (2)


US Watchful Amid Chemical War Threats in Syria

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Despite concerns that Syria's chemical and biological weapons might fall into the hands of terrorists, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, California Sen. Diane Feinstein, is reassured -- for now.

"I think that we know where the chemical weapons are kept. There are a large number of sites. There is a large variety of chemical weapons. I think it's fair to say they are being watched carefully," she said.

Despite the violence so far, according to Sen. Feinstein, the Arab League, is hoping to get Syrian President Bashar Assad to give up power gracefully.

"[I] think if he and his family leave governance, there is an opportunity to put something together," said Feinstein.

But unlike Libya, Sen. Feinstein told a Washington audience, there is no western-backed coalition that could take over if Assad leaves.

The State Department says it would be completely unacceptable for the Syrian government to use its chemical weapons on its own people.

"Any talk about any use of any kind of a weapon like that in this situation is horrific and chilling. They Syrian regime has a responsibility to the world, has a responsibility first and foremost to its own citizens to protect and safeguard those weapons," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

Nuland has dismissed as a hypothetical any talk of Israel possibly getting involved in Syria to prevent chemical weapons from landing in the hands of extremists.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Chinese Espionage Alleged to Have Targeted DuPont

Courtesy of DuPont(WASHINGTON) -- The Justice Department Wednesday charged that Chinese-controlled companies conspired to steal production secrets potentially worth billions of dollars from U.S. chemical giant DuPont.

The long-running, multi-billion-dollar economic espionage plot was revealed as five people and five companies were indicted for allegedly stealing trade secrets to benefit companies controlled by the People’s Republic of China.

The conspiracy reportedly centered on DuPont because it produces one of the world’s most valuable and ubiquitous pigments -- titanium dioxide.  Titanium dioxide infuses a bright, white, reflective glow in coloring paint, plastics, paper and other commercial products.  The worldwide titanium dioxide market has been valued at about $12 billion, and DuPont controls the largest share of the market.  

The Justice Department indictment charges that the Chinese tried to steal unique, titanium dioxide production technology from DuPont and use it to open a new, 100,000-ton titanium dioxide plant at Chongqing, China.

To achieve that goal, the Justice Department charges, “companies controlled by the PRC government, specifically the Pangang Group companies …conspired and attempted to illegally obtain titanium dioxide (TiO2) technology that had been developed over many years of research and development…by DuPont.”  The Pangang Group is the Chinese company that was to have built the titanium dioxide plant in Chongqing, according to the Justice Department.

Pangang and four other corporate defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit economic espionage, conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets and attempted economic espionage. The Justice Department said the Pangang Group companies paid “significant sums of money” to at least five insiders for DuPont’s trade secrets.

"The theft of America’s trade secrets for the benefit of China and other nations poses a substantial and continuing threat to our economic and national security,” Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco said. “We are committed to holding accountable anyone who robs American businesses of their hard-earned research. I thank the agents and prosecutors who helped bring about this important case.”  

The case is being prosecuted by the Special Prosecutions and National Security Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco, and the Counterespionage Section of the U.S. Department of Justice. The investigation, which is ongoing, is being conducted by the FBI.

DuPont spokesman Dan Turner issued this statement late Wednesday:

“DuPont has taken, and will continue to take, aggressive measures to protect its proprietary, unique and confidential technologies for the benefit of our shareholders, employees and customers. We are disappointed that former DuPont employees working together with certain companies allegedly stole our proprietary technology.  Upon learning of the apparent breach, we took prompt action and filed a civil suit.  We also referred the theft of our technology to law enforcement.” Because this matter is pending both criminally and civilly, we cannot comment further.”

The Chinese embassy did not immediately return calls for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio