China dismisses worries over missile deal with Turkey
WASHINGTON / BEIJING
The logo of China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp (CPMIEC) is seen at its headquarters in Beijing September 27, 2013. REUTERS photoTurkey’s missile system deal with a Chinese firm remains on the global defense agenda, as China officials from the NATO ranks, as well as the United States government, reiterated their “concern” at the transaction, which China labeled as purely commercial.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen expressed concern on Oct. 7 over Turkey’s selection of China, saying he expected Ankara to choose a system that was compatible with those of other allies.
Turkey has said it is likely to sign a $3.4 billion missile defense deal with a Chinese firm that is subject to U.S. sanctions, although its decision is not yet final.
The United States has expressed serious concerns to Turkey, saying the Chinese missile defense system would not work with NATO systems.
Rasmussen said choosing a defense system was a national decision.
“What is important for us is the system acquired by the individual country [...] must be able to work and operate with the systems in other countries. I expect Turkey will also comply with that,” the former Danish prime minister told Reuters, speaking in Danish.
“I, of course, expect each allied nation to make sure of this. It comes with being a NATO member,” Rasmussen said, speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Copenhagen. The United States also repeated that Washington had “serious concerns” about the deal, adding the subject had come up in talks between foreign ministers.
Kerry speaks to Davutoğlu
“Secretary Kerry spoke to Foreign Minister Davutoğlu in New York at – on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly regarding our concerns. The Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, who I think you’re all very familiar with, also discussed this issue with senior Turkish officials, and our discussions on it will continue,” State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Oct. 7.
China’s Foreign Ministry however dismissed concerns yesterday, saying the United States and others were needlessly politicizing a purely commercial deal. But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said there was nothing to worry about, especially as China had very strict rules on arms exports to ensure no impact on regional or global peace and stability, according to Reuters.
“The cooperation between the Chinese firm and Turkey is normal military cooperation between the two countries,” she told a daily news briefing in Beijing.
“We hope that all relevant parties can objectively and rationally view this cooperation, and should not politicize normal commercial competition.”
Turkey said the selection was not politically motivated, and the Chinese offer met Turkey’s main demands of price and the ability to place the production in Turkey.