China opposes US sanctions for arms sales to Iran
BEIJING: China opposes US sanctions against four companies that Washington says are involved in arms sales to Iran, but would punish the firms if the accusations proved correct, a Foreign Ministry official said on Thursday.
The US State Department said on Wednesday it had imposed sanctions on four Chinese companies and a North Korean company for selling weapons or arms-related technology to Iran. “China sternly opposes the US using domestic laws to impose sanctions against some Chinese companies,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue told a news conference. The US government’s federal register named the Chinese “entities” as Liaoning Jiayi Metals and Minerals Company, QC Chen, Wha Cheong Tai Company Ltd and Shanghai Triple International Ltd.
“If there is conclusive evidence to prove that Chinese companies or individuals have engaged in illegal exporting activities, the Chinese government will punish them in accordance with the law,” Zhang said. China has laws limiting arms exports and preventing proliferation and had strengthened their implementation, she added.
The two-year sanctions include barring US agencies from buying goods or services from the firms, providing assistance to them, allowing them to take part in US aid programmes and selling them items on the United States Munitions List.
Zhang declined to say if the Chinese government was investigating. The Bush administration imposed sanctions on Xinshidai, or China New Era Group, which has connections to Chinese defence industries, for engaging in missile technology proliferation activities in September. reuters