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China raps US sanctions on firms over weapons tech

26 may 2011, 19:05
China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu. ©Reuters
China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu. ©Reuters
China on Thursday hit out at US sanctions imposed on Chinese entities over trade with Iran, Syria or North Korea, warning Washington that cooperation on weapons non-proliferation could suffer, AFP reports.

On Tuesday, the US State Department announced sanctions on four Chinese firms or individuals over trade links with the three countries in goods or technology that may be used for weapons of mass destruction or missiles.

"China always opposes sanctions imposed by the United States on Chinese entities by invoking its domestic laws," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters.

"This will do no good to the non-proliferation cooperation between the two countries, (which should be) based on equality and mutual respect."

China was fully capable of investigating and sanctioning its own companies involved in illegal export activities, she said.

The US move, part of a new strategy to squeeze Iran's energy sector and deny it funds for a nuclear programme suspected of developing weapons, included sanctions on a total of 23 foreign entities, a State Department official said.

Chinese entities or individuals subject to the sanctions included Karl Lee, Dalian Sunny Industries, Dalian Zhongbang Chemical Industries Company and Xian Junyun Electronic (China), the State Department said.

In recent years, Iran has been hit with a wide array of sanctions over its suspect nuclear programme, despite Tehran's insistence that it is only seeking the peaceful use of atomic energy.

In addition to four UN Security Council sanctions, it has been slapped with unilateral sanctions by the United States, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Norway, Switzerland and Australia.

The European Union on Monday tightened its own sanctions on Iran, adding more than 100 firms to a blacklist of companies hit by an assets freeze amid efforts to revive international talks to make Tehran halt its atomic programme.

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