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Beijing slams US, NATO on Turkey military deal
October 9, 2013, 9:47 am


China says military trade between Beijing and Ankara should be viewed objectively [AP]

China on Tuesday criticised attempts by the United States and the North Atlantic Treat Organisation (NATO) to target a $4 billion military deal with Turkey, saying they were “politicising normal commercial competition”.

NATO and the US had earlier raised concerns over Turkey’s decision to co-produce a missile defence system with a Chinese firm.

“We hope that all relevant parties can objectively and rationally view this cooperation, and should not politicise normal commercial competition,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Tuesday.

Turkish Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz had announced the decision to award the contract to China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CPMIEC) on September 26.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday that he expected Turkey to choose a system that was compatible with those of other allies.

Washington said it was concerned by reports of the deal between Turkey and China late last month.

“We have conveyed our serious concerns about the Turkish government’s contract discussions with the US-sanctioned company for a missile defense system that will not be inter-operable with NATO systems or collective defense capabilities,” US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

According to a Reuters report, NATO diplomats have also said integrating a Chinese system into NATO’s defences would raise cyber-security concerns and issues about NATO swapping technical data with a Chinese firm.

Meanwhile, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson told a press conference in Beijing that the concern of Western countries is unreasonable and unnecessary.

China has urged that military trade between Beijing and Ankara should be viewed objectively.

The spokeswomen said China strictly follows the principles of not impairing peace and stability regionally or globally.

The winning Chinese FD-2000 system beat the US Patriot, the Russian S-400 and the French-Italian Eurosam Samp-T.

Meanwhile, local media reports quoted a written statement from the Turkish defense industry’s executive committee that said contract negotiations have started between Turkey and CPMIEC.

Turkey has no long-range missile defence system of its own despite having the second-largest deployable military force in the NATO alliance.

China and Turkey signed deals worth $4.3 billion in a wide range of sectors during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit last year.

The Asian nation is now Turkey’s third biggest trading partner after Russia and Germany.

With inputs from Agencies