Western media exaggerate China's limited arms sales to Sudan

Updated: 2008-02-22 22:34

LONDON - A senior Chinese diplomat has said that western media have exaggerated China's limited arms sales to Sudan.

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Liu Guijin, special representative of the Chinese government on the Darfur issue, told a news conference at the Chinese embassy in London on Thursday that "China has adopted a high degree of restraint in its arms sale to developing countries, including Sudan. It is very limited in numbers."

According to relevant international statistics, among a total of seven countries exporting arms to Sudan, China only accounted for 8 percent of the country's arms imports in 2006, he said.

"I am puzzled why China's arms sale is exaggerated by the media, and I am wondering whether it is out of misunderstanding or on purpose," the envoy said.

China has participated in the UN Military Transparency Mechanism and it has been providing the requested data for the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. All its arms sold to developing countries are registered in the world body, he added.

Liu further noted that weapons flooding the world market had come from other countries such as the United States.

According to figures released by the US Congressional Research Service in September 2007, the United States remained the world's largest seller of conventional arms to developing countries in 2006, with 36 percent.

It was followed by Russia with 28 percent, Britain 11 percent, Germany 6 percent and China, only 3 percent, said Liu.

Liu said that China has done a great deal in order to solve the Darfur issue and would do more for the Sudanese. He hoped that other countries would do "tangible and practical work" to help relieve the sufferings in the Darfur region.

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