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Iran Press TV

China denies Cuba-bound ship violated laws

Iran Press TV

Wed Mar 4, 2015 3:19PM

Beijing has rejected accusations by a Colombian prosecutor that one of China's freighters had been trafficking weapons, saying the cargo ship was carrying 'ordinary military supplies' to Cuba.

China's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday defended the captain of its ship who is detained by Colombian officials on charges of carrying undeclared military equipment, saying he has done nothing wrong.

On Tuesday, Colombia announced that it had detained the Hong Kong-registered Da Dan Xia ship and would charge its captain Wu Hong with weapons trafficking.

The military equipment contested by Colombia include 99 projectile bases, around 100 tons of gunpowder, and 3,000 artillery cartridge cases, according to the Colombian prosecutor Luis Gonzalez Leon.

Officials in the prosecutor's office in Bogota said the items found on the ship conflicted with the freighter's documentation.

However, a spokeswoman for China's Foreign Ministry rejected the allegations. Hua Chunying insisted that the freighter was operating in the framework of the Chinese and international law.

'The vessel is carrying ordinary military supplies and utilities to Cuba; there is no sensitive substance on board,' she said during a regular briefing of reporters in Beijing.

The Chinese official dismissed Bogota's claims that the ship was engaged in abnormal military trade, saying, "The cooperation does not violate China's laws and regulations nor the international obligations that China undertakes".

Hua said Beijing has always asked ship companies that operate in international waters to abide by local laws and regulations.

The cargo ship was scheduled to stop in Barranquilla, northern Colombia, before ending its trip in Havana.

According to the recent statistics by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), China is the world's fourth biggest arms supplier.

MS/HMV/SS



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