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China defends missile plan with Turkey

Oct. 8, 2013 at 11:34 AM

BEIJING, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The Chinese government on Tuesday brushed off concerns relayed by NATO and the U.S. government over a missile defense agreement with Turkey.

The Turkish government in September backed a contract for a missile defense system with China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said last week there were "serious concerns" about the contract because of the sanctions imposed on the Chinese company.

The U.S. government has sanctioned the company for ballistic missile sales to the Iranian and Pakistani governments.

Hurriyet, a daily newspaper in Turkey, said a final decision on the $3.4 billion missile defense package wasn't final.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said bilateral military trade with Turkey was normal, the official Xinhua News Agency reports. She said during her regular press briefing Tuesday the concerns were unreasonable and unnecessary.

Hua said the Western complaints may be commercially motivated. The Chinese FD-2000 system beat out the U.S. Patriot missile system.

The State Department said Monday it was discussing the issue with the Turkish government.

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