ABU DHABI Ń Beijing has held three high-level defense and military
talks with three Arab countries on one week in what diplomatic sources said was a
Chinese effort to renew weapons sales and cooperation with allies in the
China has held talks with Kuwait, Sudan and Syria over the last week. In
Damascus, a high-level Chinese military delegation discussed a series of
projects and training with Syrian military and defense chiefs.
A CIA report released in November asserted that China was a leading
supplier of missile and weapons of mass destruction technology to Syria. The
report said Beijing has been helping Damascus in developing solid-fuel
The sources said Chinese arms sales in the Middle East has declined sharply over the
last two years, Middle East Newsline reported.
In Khartoum, China and Sudan discussed a range of weapons projects
during the visit by Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan, diplomatic
sources in Khartoum said. They said Friday's talks covered a range of
Sudanese options for payment, including Chinese energy projects in Sudan.
China has been cited as a leading military supplier to Khartoum. A
report by the New York-based Human Rights Watch said Beijing has sold
aircraft, artillery and other platforms to Sudan's military.
At the same time, Kuwaiti Defense Minister Jaber Mubarak Al Sabah
completed a week-long visit to Beijing to discuss a range of Chinese
military sales to the sheikdom. China has begun to deliver advanced 155 mm
artillery for a second Kuwaiti artillery brigade.
"The two countries have signed 13 different agreements, the most
important ¹of which is the security and military cooperation agreement and
the investment ¹¹agreement," the Kuwaiti ambassador to Beijing, Faisal Al
Kuwaiti sources said the two countries completed a schedule of defense
and military cooperation in 2004. They said Beijing and Kuwait also agreed
to establish a joint panel to activate a memorandum of understanding signed
by Kuwait and China in 1995.