China on Tuesday said it takes a cautious and responsible approach to arms exports and strictly observes domestic laws and international obligations.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular news conference that China strictly adheres to three principles in arms exports, namely the weapons will contribute to the recipient country's due defense capability, the weapons will not affect peace and stability of relevant regions, and non-interference in the internal affairs of recipient countries.
The spokesman emphasized that China only exports arms to sovereign states, and no arms can be transferred to third countries without the Chinese government's permission.
Qin's remarks came in response to a question concerning Chinese-made weapons being used by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan and insurgents in Iraq.
"I believe the largest quantities of weapons used there are not from China," Qin said.
In response to another question about a Chinese citizen kidnapped in Niger, Qin said the Chinese government is making every effort to save the hostage, who is "safe".
A Niger rebel group, named the Movement of Niger People for Justice, claimed responsibility for the kidnapping in a statement on Saturday. It said that the kidnapping was in response to the company's policy of employing people from the capital rather than locals.
"We have urged the Niger government to take effective efforts to ensure the security of Chinese citizens and companies," Qin said.
(Xinhua News Agency July 11, 2007)