WASHINGTON Dec 3 A nuclear engineering company
with ties to the Chinese government pleaded guilty on Monday to
charges of illegally exporting coatings that can withstand high
temperatures to a power plant in Pakistan, the U.S. Justice
China Nuclear Industry Huaxing Construction Co Ltd entered
the guilty plea in U.S. District Court for the District of
Columbia, according to the department.
The company admitted to charges that it conspired to ship
the high-performance coatings through China to Pakistan in 2006
and 2007. The shipments were made despite Washington's denial of
an application to export the coatings directly to Pakistan's
Chashma II nuclear power plant, according to papers filed in
court ahead of the plea.
The United States has restricted nuclear-related exports to
Pakistan since the country's first successful detonation of a
nuclear device in 1998.
A lawyer for Huaxing did not immediately respond to a
request for comment. The company agreed to a criminal fine of $2
million, half of which it will not have to pay if it completes
five years of probation, the Justice Department said.
Huaxing's guilty plea is believed to be the first time a
China-controlled corporation has entered a guilty plea in a U.S.
criminal export case, said Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney for
the District of Columbia.
A Chinese subsidiary of PPG Industries Inc, which
made the coatings, pleaded guilty in connection with the same
conspiracy in 2010.