China denied state-owned companies offered to sell arms to Moammar Gadhafi following a July visit to Beijing by representatives of the Libyan leader, who is in hiding after rebels took control of the capital, Tripoli.
“The Gadhafi regime sent people to China to make contact with certain individuals of relevant Chinese companies in July without knowledge of government departments,” Jiang Yu, a Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman, said in Beijing today. “Chinese companies have not signed any military trade contracts with Libya, let alone sold arms to Libya.”
Chinese state-owned companies offered to sell Gadhafi’s government stockpiles of weapons and ammunition in apparent violation of United Nations sanctions, The New York Times reported, citing Libyan rebel officials. The claims were based on documents found by a Canadian journalist that purported to show Chinese state-owned companies agreed to sell $200 million of rocket launchers, missiles and other weaponry, it said.
The documents were first published on the website of the Toronto-based Globe and Mail newspaper, the Times said. The Globe cited papers one of its reporters found in the trash in Tripoli and which said the Chinese companies suggested the arms be delivered through third countries such as South Africa or Algeria, the Times said.
Jiang said no arms were exported following UN Security Council sanctions banning weapons shipments to Libya, either directly or indirectly.
“China adopts a cautious and responsible attitude toward arms exports,” Jiang said. ’’In accordance with China’s international obligations and domestic laws and regulations, we exercise strict management over all arms exports.’’
Any country that violated the sanctions would find it difficult to do business in Libya, the Times cited rebel military spokesman Abdulrahman Busin as saying in an interview Sunday.
© Copyright 2015 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.