China is selling drones to Jordan, lawmaker says

China is selling drones to Jordan, lawmaker says
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Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterPelosi blasts California Republicans for supporting tax bill GOP lawmaker gives profane tribute to Trump Court upholds Obama rule banning vaping on airplanes MORE (R-Calif.) is stepping up the pressure on President Obama to sell unarmed surveillance drones to Jordan.

Hunter warns that unless the U.S. acts soon, Jordan will buy drone systems from China instead.

“I am now aware that China is presently in Jordan to discuss operations, logistics and maintenance associated with the urgent sale of weaponized unmanned systems,” Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a May 14 letter to the president.

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“Allowing Jordan to obtain Chinese assets — simply due to delays in U.S. considerations and process — is a serious mistake,” he added. “Not only will a new market exist for China to export its technology, any incorporation of Chinese assets will directly harm U.S. interoperability.”

In February, Hunter sent a similar letter to the president, arguing that the administration should “immediately” reverse a decision that rejected a request by the San Diego-based contractor General Atomics to export its unarmed Predator XP drone to Jordan.

The request came after Hunter and other lawmakers met with Jordan’s King Abdullah and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) released a gruesome video that showed militants burning a Jordanian air force pilot alive in a cage.

Hunter asked the president to “give serious consideration” to granting Jordan’s request for surveillance assets.

“I am confident that we can curtail Jordan’s interest in Chinese assets by taking this immediate action,” he wrote.