China rubbishes India's claims of arms proliferation to Pakistan
Spokesman says Pakistan-bound furnace shell that India seized is not for military use
China said on Thursday that the industrial equipment seized from a Pakistan-bound Chinese ship at an India port is a heat treatment furnace shell system and not a dual-use item under the non-proliferation and export control as alleged by the Indian officials.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India had alleged that the seized furnace system was an 'industrial autoclave' that can be used for the "manufacture of very long-range ballistic missiles or satellite launch rockets".
But China has rubbished the claim.
"China has noted the relevant reports. As a responsible major country, China has been strictly fulfilling the international non-proliferation obligations and international commitments," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.
"After seeking the information, we know that this item is actually a heat treatment furnace shell system, produced by a private company in China. This is not for military use and it is not a dual-use item under the non-proliferation and export control," he said.
He said the Chinese merchant ship and its owner have declared this item truthfully beforehand with the Indian authorities, so there is "no concealment and forced declaration".
Reports said the Chinese ship bearing Hong Kong flag, 'Da Cui Yun', was detained by Customs at Kandla Port in India's Gujarat state while en-route to Port Qasim, Karachi, on February 3. The ship was allowed to leave after the suspected cargo was offloaded which is now being kept in a godown at the port.