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Chinese weapons fall into hands of insurgents

February 10, 2011 Comments off

Insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq have obtained Chinese-made weapons

Chinese-made weapons have fallen into the hands of insurgents fighting Coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan because of China’s failure to enforce export controls on arms to Iran, the leaked cables show.

By Gordon Rayner

US diplomats also feared that Chinese companies were selling materials to Iran that could be used to build nuclear missiles and other weapons of mass destruction.

Chinese-made guns, as well as rocket-propelled grenades and surface-to-air missiles containing Chinese-made components, have all been used against Coalition forces or civilian targets in Iraq, the US claims, while other weapons have been obtained by militants in Afghanistan.

The US was so concerned about Chinese arms and components being sold to Iran that in September 2008 the State Department launched a major diplomatic offensive to put pressure on Beijing.

It decided to share intelligence with eight “key allies” including Spain and Italy to “persuade China to enforce its export control laws more effectively” and to “aggressively implement” UN Security Council resolutions on the sale of arms and weapons materials.

Ambassadors were told to encourage the foreign governments to point out to the Chinese that arms sales to Iran “could ultimately damage China’s reputation and its bilateral relationship with” each of the countries.