US warns China over weapon links in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan
WASHINGTON, May 15 (AFP) May 15, 2008
The United States has warned Beijing over reported use of Chinese weapons by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the Asian giant's continued sale of arms to Iran, Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said Thursday.
He said he conveyed the concerns personally to Chinese officials during his visit to Beijing this week.
"Just the other day, Monday, when I was in Beijing, this was one of the issues I raised -- concern about Chinese weapons or Chinese-designed weapons showing up in some of these battle areas, be it Iraq or Afghanistan," he told a congressional hearing on US-China ties.
The US military in Iraq had said its troops had found Chinese-made missiles which they believe were smuggled in by groups in Iran aiming to arm militants fighting US-led forces.
The US military has repeatedly accused Iranian-linked groups of training Iraqi extremists in the use of armor piercing weapons known as explosively-formed penetrators (EFPs).
Afghan authorities had also seized dozens of Iranian and Chinese-made weapons from Taliban fighters near the border with Iran.
The weapons, including land mines and rocket-propelled grenades, appeared to have been manufactured in Iran and China, reports have said.
Negroponte told the US senators that Washington "made it clear" to Beijing that Chinese entities' continued sale of conventional weapons to Iran "is unacceptable."
He said that China understood the US position that Iran presented "a grave international and regional security concern, and that our government reserves the right to apply all multilateral, bilateral and unilateral measures at our disposal to ensure that our concerns are addressed.
"We reinforce this message at every opportunity," he said.All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.