ISLAMABAD: China on Thursday strongly rejected an Indian allegation that a detained Karachi-bound Chinese merchant vessel carried cargo that breached non-proliferation and export control restrictions.
“The Pakistan-bound merchant vessel from China was detained by India, but the autoclave on the ship that India claimed to be material for ballistic missiles is neither military supplies nor dual-use items under non-proliferation and export control,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao said at a media briefing in Beijing.
He said that China, being a responsible country, abided by international non-proliferation obligations and international commitments.
The spokesman said that the operators of the ship had truthfully declared the cargo to the Indian authorities and, therefore, there is no concealment or false declaration.
The Indian authorities had detained Chinese merchant vessel MV Da Cui Yun in the first week of February at Deendayal port, formerly known as Kandla port, alleging that it carried an autoclave which had been mis-declared in the cargo manifest. It was claimed that the autoclave could be used in the manufacture of missiles.
A team from India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation, which is responsible for military research and development, had examined the suspect cargo.
Indian action against the ship was reportedly taken on intelligence provided by a ‘third country’.
Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2020