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BBC's accusation "ungrounded"
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The accusation by BBC about China's arms sales to Sudan fuelling war in Darfur is "ungrounded and biased", said Liu Guijin, Chinese government's special representative on the Darfur issue.

The Panorama programme on BBC online broadcast on July 13 and 14 alleged that China violated an arms embargo resolution of the United Nations Security Council and exported trucks for military use to Sudan.

Liu said that this accusation "has ulterior motives".

He said China's Dongfeng Motor Corporation did export 212 trucks to Sudan in 2005, but all these trucks were for civilian use with carrying capacity of 3.5 tonnes each.

According to China's related rules, the export of those items for civilian use does not need to receive permission from the Chinese government.

The programme showed two pictures in which the trucks were equipped with two machine guns, and accused China of violating the UN resolution. Liu said such an accusation was "irresponsible".

Liu said that because of the bad security situation in Darfur, the rebel groups often attack the transportation vehicles in the region, including those from the United Nations and those for civilian use. The government may take such vehicles and equip them with guns.

If the BBC broadcasts pictures of such vehicles and shows the picture on the other side of one or two victims, and makes the charges against China using military trucks and machine guns to kill innocent people, Liu said "such charges are ungrounded and have ulterior motives".

China maintains normal arms trade relations with Sudan and some other African nations, and strictly abides by the related rules of the Chinese government in this regard.

According to Liu, the rules say that the arms trade with African nations should be limited in quantity, and conventional in quality. The arms should not be sold to non-sovereign entities, should be used for ordinary defence, and require the buyers to hold end user proof.

Liu said some western media and organizations do not treat China-Sudan relations with fair and just attitudes, but contort the normal relations.

Liu also expressed serious concern over the International Criminal Court's (ICC) attempted prosecution of the Sudanese leader. An ICC prosecutor on Monday sought the arrest of President Omar al-Bashir, charging him with war crimes in Darfur.

Liu called on parties concerned to take a prudent attitude, and properly settle divergences through consultation, and hoped that the Darfur situation would not be complicated and the efforts to resolve the Darfur issue would not be undermined.

He said China was ready to work with the international community to push forward the process of resolving the Darfur issue.

China was open and cooperative to any move conducive for the long-term and proper settlement of the Darfur issue, Liu said, noting that this was China's persistent stance.

Although faced with so many challenges in security factors, China still fully honored its commitments on sending a 315-men multi-functional engineering unit to Darfur.

A Chinese follow-up troop from the engineering unit arrived in west Sudan's Darfur region on Thursday, marking the completion of deploying the whole Chinese engineering unit.

In addition, China has agreed to send another engineering unit of about 90, part of a UN task force positioned in southern Sudan, to the Durfur region.

The unit and some Chinese companies took risks there to make logistic preparation for the deployment of the hybrid peacekeeping force of the United Nations and the African Union, Liu said.

The Chinese government will offer further humanitarian aid materials worth of 60 million yuan (8.8 million U.S. dollars) to Darfur this year, according to Liu.

"We will never change our determination to work with the international community to promote the settlement of the Darfur issue," Liu noted.

(Xinhua News Agency July 19, 2008)

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