China defends arms sales to Africa

Beijing, January 30:

China today defended its arms exports to African nations, saying they were small in scale and did not violate United Nations rules that ban weapons sales to countries at war.

“On the arms exports to Africa, China takes a cautious and responsible attitude,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said shortly after President Hu Jintao left for an eight-nation tour of the continent. “China has restricted arms trade with African countries, it is on a small scale and restricted to conventional arms.” Human rights groups have accused China of supplying the government in Sudan with arms for use in a genocide campaign in the nation’s Darfur region.