China hits back at BBC report on arms sale to Sudan

July 18th, 2008 - 10:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Xinhua
Beijing, July 18 (Xinhua) China Friday hit back at the BBC report that accused Beijing of breaking the UN arms embargo on Sudan, saying the news report was “ungrounded and biased”. The BBC report about China’s alleged arms sales to Sudan fuelling war in Darfur is “ungrounded and biased”, Chinese special envoy to Darfur, Liu Guijin, said here Friday.

The BBC aired a programme Monday accusing China of breaking the UN arms embargo on Sudan by supplying military equipments to the African nation and training pilots to fly Chinese fighter jets.

Liu strongly rejected the report and said the accusation “has ulterior motives”.

However, the diplomat admitted that China’s Dongfeng Motor Corp did export 212 trucks to Sudan in 2005. But all those supplies were for civilian use, he clarified.

The BBC programme showed two pictures in which the trucks were equipped with two machine guns. It also cited two confidential sources to accuse China of giving training to pilots to fly Chinese Fantan fighter jets.

Such an accusation was “irresponsible”, Liu said and added that the supply vehicles were given protection to avoid attacks by rebels who often attack transportation vehicles, including those from the UN and those for civilian use.

China maintains normal arms trade relations with Sudan and some other African nations, and strictly abides by the related rules of the Chinese government in this regard, Liu said.

“Some western media and organisations do not treat China-Sudan relations with fair and just attitudes, but contort the normal relations,” he alleged.

Liu also said China was ready to work with the international community to push forward the process of resolving the Darfur issue.

China fully honoured its commitments on sending a 315-men multi-functional engineering unit to Darfur, he added.

A Chinese follow-up troop from the engineering unit arrived in west Sudan’s Darfur region Thursday, marking the completion of deploying the whole Chinese engineering unit.

The diplomat also said that China had agreed to send another engineering unit of about 90 to the Durfur region as part of a UN task force positioned in southern Sudan.

“We will never change our determination to work with the international community to promote the settlement of the Darfur issue,” Liu noted.
Xinhua

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