China rejects arms trade accusation

Updated: 2007-07-26 22:45

China on Thursday voiced its opposition to US claims that it is involved in illegal arms trade.

"For a certain period of time, some countries have connected China's normal arms trade links with other countries to military smuggling and even destabilization of some areas," the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in a statement.

Liu's comments came in response to a question regarding a US claim that the US military found Chinese-made missiles in Iraq that were smuggled from Iran.

"This has misled public opinion and has ulterior motives. We are strongly dissatisfied and are firmly opposed to such statements being made," Liu said.

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China always takes a prudent and responsible attitude towards arms exports and imposes rigid self-control in terms of arms exports according to China's international obligations and domestic laws, said Liu.

"China adheres to three principles when selling armaments: it should help enhance the self-defense capability of importing countries, should not impair regional and global peace, security and stability and should not be used to interfere with the internal affairs of countries," he said.

The spokesman emphasized that China only exports arms to sovereign states and no arms can be transferred to third countries without the Chinese government's permission. China has also set up a system to clarify the identity of end users of its exported arms, he said.

China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, clearly understands its responsibilities in maintaining regional and international peace and security, Liu said.

The country has always seriously fulfilled relevant UN resolutions and has never sold embargoed arms to countries or regions with a UN Security Council arms embargo, the spokesman said.

China has carried out normal arms trade with many countries in line with these principles, Liu said, adding the trade complies with Chinese policies and regulations on the arms trade as well as relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

The spokesman stressed China has always actively participated in the reconstruction of Iraq, and has made concerted efforts for the region's peace and stability.

"Irresponsible rebukes cannot help to resolve problems," the spokesman said, calling on parties concerned to enhance cooperation and make joint efforts to safeguard international and regional peace.

China is ready to work closely with the international community to play a constructive role in promoting peace, stability and economic development of Iraq, he said.

With particular concern over exports of small arms and conventional weapons, China promulgated the Law on Control of Guns in July 1996, issued regulations on the Administration of Arms Export in October 1997 and started amending the regulations from October 2002.

According to the regulations, only licensed enterprises are allowed to be engaged in the arms trade, and their export items and contracts must go through checkup by related official departments. Weapon producers should offer valid certificates from import countries, including those of end users.

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