This, of course, raises a new mystery: What European company owns C-130s? I'm aware one American (Lyndon Air Cargo), one Canadian (First Air) and two African companies (Libyan Air Cargo and Transafrik) operating the L-100 commercial version of the C-130. If there's a European operator, they must have a decommissioned militarized C-130. Any guesses?
"The president's waiver allows for the temporary export to China of C-130 aircraft only for the purposes of refueling and/or resupplying with oil spill chemical dispersants in China as necessary for oil spill response operations in the Southeast Asia region," said National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer. "No C-130 has gone to China or is being sold to China; this is just a waiver for a contingency plan."
Administration officials told The Cable that the State Department will still need to review and issue licenses for any C-130s that travel to China, and that this waiver was granted at the behest of allied countries.
"A European company that has C-130s wanted to be able to use them in a disaster response in that region and needed the waiver just in case they needed to land in China," a senior administration official told The Cable.
Report: No C-130s for China
Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy magazine's blog, The Cable, solves the mystery of the White House letter sent to Congress last week that seemed to open the door for C-130 sales to China. Rogan writes:
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