China harshly criticizes USA for its ‘irresponsible and groundless’ claims

Top Chinese officials denounced USA’s accusations claiming that China was selling weapons to Iran and North Korea in the middle of international scandals with the two defiant regimes.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang called the criticism "groundless and irresponsible," the official Xinhua News Agency said. No other details were given.

Peter Rodman, assistant secretary of defense for international security, on Thursday urged China to re-evaluate its relationship with allies Iran and North Korea, two countries with which the United States is locked in tense nuclear standoffs.

He said Washington sees in China "a general willingness to transfer a wide variety of technologies to customers around the world."

He also mentioned Sudan, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Cuba and Venezuela and even linked China to North Korea's test launches in July of seven missiles and to Hezbollah's use of Chinese-designed cruise missiles against an Israeli naval vessel, also in July.

In recent years, China has become a key manufacturer of machinery and technology and its products are valuable worldwide to groups and nations seeking weaponry and weapons technology, the AP says.

Beijing has been under pressure to stop what critics say is the transfer of missile and weapons technology by Chinese companies to Iran, Pakistan and other countries. China is a close ally and the main weapons supplier to Pakistan, whose former chief nuclear scientist has admitted passing nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

China has denied the charges and says it opposes the spread of weapons technology and materials. It also says it forbids Chinese companies from transferring such material.