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China denies supplying arms to Gaddafi regime

world Updated: Sep 05, 2011 15:04 IST

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Beijing denied on Monday that it provided the Gaddafi regime with weapons in its final days, but said Libyan officials had visited China in July for talks with "interested companies."

The ministry was responding to a report in a Canadian newspaper that Beijing offered huge stockpiles of weapons to Libya's then leader Muammar Gaddafi and held secret talks on shipping them through Algeria and South Africa.

"In July the Gaddafi government sent someone to China without the knowledge of the Chinese government to make contact with the representatives of interested companies," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told journalists.

"Chinese companies have not provided military products to Libya in any direct or indirect form. Chinese companies did not sign arm sales contracts and they did not export military products to Libya."

China "does not allow any actions that contravene UN resolutions," she added.

Canada's Globe and Mail reported on Sunday that state-controlled companies in China were ready to sell weapons and ammunition worth at least $200 million to Gaddafi in late July, despite UN sanctions, citing secret documents it had obtained.

The documents, published on the paper's website, do not confirm whether any military assistance was delivered.

They showed that Gaddafi's top security aides made a trip to Beijing in mid-July, where they met officials from China North Industries Corp. (Norinco); the China National Precision Machinery Import & Export Corp. (CPMIC); and China XinXing Import & Export Corp.

The Chinese companies offered the entire contents of their stockpiles for sale, and promised to manufacture more supplies if necessary, The Globe and Mail said.