May 8, 2007 (BEIJING) — China said Tuesday its arms sales to Africa violate no international law, rejecting claims by Amnesty International that Beijing is supplying arms to Sudan for use in the strife-torn Darfur region.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Chinese sales to African nations were "very limited and small in scale" but refused to say whether any were being made to Sudan.
London-based Amnesty International said Tuesday that arms from China, Russian and several other nations are being used in Darfur and in neighboring Chad in violation of a U.N embargo.
Jiang said China’s weapons sales to Africa were made to sovereign nations and not individuals and that the resale of Chinese weapons to third parties was forbidden. She said China does not sell arms to regions under U.N. embargo.
In March 2005, the Security Council extended an arms embargo already in force in Darfur for the rebels and the janjaweed to include Sudan’s government.
Jiang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said that "in conducting arms sales to Africa, we carefully consider the local area’s situation and development model and stick to the spirit of protecting local peace and stability."
More than 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million made refugees in Darfur since 2003, when ethnically African rebels rose up against the Arab-dominated central government. Khartoum is accused of arming the janjaweed as a counterinsurgency tactic, a charge the government denies.
The conflict has now spilled over into neighboring Chad and Central African Republic.