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China refutes Australian media report on flights
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China on Wednesday refuted an Australian media report that Air Zimbabwe Corporation's scheduled civilian flights to China engaged in illegal dealings.

"The report proved to be malicious rumors," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao in a press release.

He said some foreign media frequently fabricated non-existent news attacking China's relationships with African countries. Their lack of basic professional ethics would finally ruin their reputation and credibility.

His comments came as The Age, a Melbourne-based newspaper, recently reported the Air Zimbabwe Corporation arranged scheduled flights to Beijing and southern China each week. It was claimed these flights passed through Australia's and Singapore's territorial air space, ferrying high-ranking officials and veterans of the Zimbabwe army to China. The flights were alleged to be loaded with ivory, gold and diamonds that were exchanged for weapons and luxury goods from China.

"As more foreign airlines fly to China in recent years, the relevant departments of the Chinese government have carried out management on all flights passing in and out of China according to the law," Liu said.

He added the Chinese government forbade any companies or individual to take advantage of civilian flights to engage in illegal activity.

(Xinhua News Agency July 24, 2008)

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