China offered huge stockpiles of arms to Gadafi: report
MONTREAL: China offered huge stockpiles of weapons to Moamer Qadhafi during the final months of his regime and held secret talks on shipping them through Algeria and South Africa, The Globe and Mail reported.
State-controlled Chinese arms companies were ready to sell weapons and ammunition worth at least $200 million to Qadhafi in late July, despite UN sanctions, the Canadian daily said, citing secret documents it had obtained.
The papers do not confirm whether any military assistance was delivered, but senior members of Tripoliâ€™s new ruling council say they reinforce their suspicions about the recent actions of China, Algeria and South Africa, the report said on Sunday.
Algeria, China and South Africa have been reluctant to endorse Natoâ€™s actions in Libya, the Toronto newspaper recalled.
Omar Hariri, chief of the transitional councilâ€™s military committee, reviewed the documents and concluded they explained the presence of new weapons on the battlefield, The Globe and Mail said.
â€œIâ€™m almost certain that these guns arrived and were used against our people,â€ Hariri said.
The documents were discovered in a pile of trash sitting at the curb in a neighborhood known as Bab Akkarah, where several of Colonel Qadhafiâ€™s most loyal supporters had homes.
They showed that Qadhafiâ€™s top security aides made a trip to Beijing in mid-July, where they met with officials from China North Industries Corp. (Norinco); the China National Precision Machinery Import & Export Corp. (CPMIC); and China XinXing Import & Export Corp.
The Chinese companies offered the entire contents of their stockpiles for sale, and promised to manufacture more supplies if necessary, The Globe and Mail said.
The hosts thanked the Libyans for their discretion, emphasized the need for confidentiality, and recommended delivery via third parties, it added.
The Chinese companies also noted that many of the items the Libyan team requested were already held in the arsenals of the Algerian military and could be transported immediately across the border, The Globe and Mail said.
Appendices stapled to the main memo show that the parties discussed truck-mounted rocket launchers, fuel-air explosive missiles and anti-tank missiles, among others items, the report said.
The Chinese apparently also offered Qadhafiâ€™s men the QW-18, a surface-to-air missile, which is roughly similar to a US Stinger and is capable of bringing down military aircraft, the paper said.