[Marxism] PRC/IRAQ: US concerns over China weapons in Iraq - FT

Sukant Chandan sukant.chandan at gmail.com
Wed Aug 8 13:50:07 MDT 2007

Something similar was stated a while back in Sept 2006, again by the FT:

[start quote]

Cypriot police quiz 'Syria arms' ship
By Andreas Hadjipapas and Kerin Hope
Published: September 8 2006

Greek Cypriot police were last night questioning the 15-member crew of a
Panama-registered ship suspected of smuggling weapons to Syria.

The Gregorio I was detained when it docked in the Cypriot port of Limassol
to refuel. Customs officials found the vessel was carrying 18 truck-mounted
mobile radar systems and three command vehicles.

The cargo had been loaded in China and North Korea, a spokesman said. Kerin
Hope, Athens and Andreas Hadjpapas, Nicosia

[end quote]





US concerns over China weapons in Iraq

By Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington

Published: July 6 2007 22:01

The US has raised concerns with the Chinese government about the
discovery of Chinese-made weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Richard Lawless, departing senior Pentagon official for Asia, on
Friday said Washington had flagged the issue with Beijing. In recent
months, the US has become increasingly alarmed that Chinese armour-
piercing ammunition has been used by the Taliban in Afghanistan and
insurgents in Iraq.

A senior US official recently told theFTthat Iran appeared to be
providing the Chinese-made weapons. He said Washington had no evidence
that Beijing was complicit, but stressed that the US would like China
to "do a better job of policing these sales". Mr Lawless said the
question of origin was less important than who was facilitating the

The concerns about Chinese weapons follow months of allegations from
US officials that Iran is helping attack US troops in Iraq, and more
recently Afghanistan, by providing technology for bombs that can
destroy Humvees and other heavily armoured US vehicles.

Mr Lawless also expressed concern about North Korea's missile
programme. Last week, Pyongyang tested a new short-range missile that
could target not only the US military base at Pyeongtaek but also
Seoul. He said North Korea was close to being able to field the solid-
fuel, highly mobile rocket.

Mr Lawless said the US military relationship with China was "overall,
not bad", but there was a need for more engagement between the
militaries, particularly at the senior levels. "They have been more
willing to engage, but it is in millimetres and increments," he said.

He said the Pentagon was disappointed that China had not given Admiral
Michael Mullen, chief of naval operations, the same kind of access
that his Chinese counterpart received during a visit to the US. Adm
Mullen, who has since been nominated as chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, ended up not visiting China.

Mr Lawless also said it was important for China to hold talks with the
US about its nuclear forces. A recent Pentagon report concluded
Beijing was developing a more survivable nuclear force, including
submarine-launched missiles, and mobile land-based missiles.

Since Presidents Hu Jintao and George W. Bush last year discussed
increasing military exchanges, China has not responded to an offer for
the commander of its strategic nuclear forces to visit US Strategic

"There is a great shortfall in our understanding of China's
intentions," said Mr Lawless, referring to the overall Chinese
military build-up. "When you don't know why they are doing it, it is
pretty damn threatening . . . they leave us no choice but to assume
the worst."

Mr Lawless also suggested that the Pentagon had refused a request from
Japan for extensive data on the F-22 fighter jet. Japan wants the data
to consider whether the advanced fighter – which under current law
cannot be exported – would meet its defence needs.

Mr Lawless said the Pentagon had offered Japan only basic data, which
would not require a change in US law.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007

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