Monday, December 26, 2011

China Rejects Link to Patriot Missiles in Finland

BEIJING - Beijing on Dec. 23 denied that a ship docked in Finland with more than 69 surface-to-air Patriot missiles on board had anything to do with China.
Finnish authorities are investigating after the missiles, produced by U.S. firm Raytheon, were discovered on a British-registered ship bound for the Chinese port city of Shanghai.
Finnish customs are investigating the case as one of illegal export of defense material. Two Ukrainians - the ship's captain and the first mate - have been detained.
"I don't see the ship transporting the missiles having anything to do with China," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told a regular briefing.
"I don't know why there is always someone who likes to link certain kinds of things with China and I have noticed the relevant report and I hope to clear up this event."
Germany's defense ministry has said the missiles came from its military and were destined for South Korea. A spokesman said the shipment was a "legal sale on the basis of an accord between two states at the government level".
He said the transaction had received an official export authorization and was reported to customs authorities.

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