The United States has raised concerns with Israel about its sales and transfer of military equipment and technology to China, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday.
The spokesman declined to comment on the specifics of an Israeli report that Washington is demanding Israel provide details of more than 60 percent of recent security deals with China and its arms export trade in general.
"This is certainly an issue that is being discussed between the United States and Israel, and we have made our concerns about the sale and transfer of defense equipment and technlogy to China, known to Israel," said Bryan Whitman, a spokesman for the Defense Department.
"We continue also to raise concerns with our allies, our friends and partners and look for them to take responsible approaches to arms sales to China too. This is broader than just Israel," he said.
The Haaretz newspaper reported on the deepening months-long US dispute with Israel over a deal to upgrade Harpy Killer unmanned drones it had sold to China.
Besides demanding details on Israeli arms sales to China, the United States has suspended cooperation with the Israeli air force on developing a new jet in the Joint Strike Fighter project and other high-tech military equipment used by ground troops, the newspaper said.
Contact has also been "disrupted" at the top echelon between the Israeli defence ministry and the Pentagon, with Israeli phone calls not answered, it added.
Israel's defence ministry refused to confirm or deny the Haaretz report, saying it was holding discrete talks with the United States to clear up the misunderstanding.
US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in a speech in Singapore earlier this month, highlighted American concerns that a rapid Chinese military buildup is putting a risk the military balance in the region.
The Pentagon is expected to issue a report to Congress later this month detailing the buildup.
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US Demands Answers From Israel Over China Arms Sales: Report
Jerusalem (AFP) Jun 12, 2005
A dispute between Israel and Washington over Israeli arms sales to China is deepening after months of US sanctions on joint military projects, the Haaretz newspaper reported on Sunday.
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