China sold arms to Gaddafi till last: Report

Toronto: China offered huge stockpiles of weapons to prop up the Libya dictator Muammar Gaddafi during the final months of the regime, compounding pressure on Beijing`s brittle ties with the rebels who have ousted him.

State controlled Chinese arms firms offered to sell weapons worth about USD 200 million to Gaddafi in July and held secret talks on shipping them to Algeria and South Africa, the Canadian daily Globe and Mail reported.

The Chinese companies were selling rocket launchers, anti-tank missiles and other arms to Gaddafi`s forces in apparent violation of UN sanctions.

The paper quoted senior members of Libya`s transitional government as saying that it reinforces their suspicions about the recent actions of China, Algeria and South Africa.

The Toronto paper said the documents in Arabic were found abandoned in an official building in the Libyan capital Tripoli and the Transitional government leaders have said that they are authentic.

Omar Hariri, chief of the new government`s military committee, said these arms had arrived and had been used against the rebels.

Another rebel military spokesman Abdulrahman Busim said that new government would seek accountability through appropriate international channels. He said any country that had violated UN sanctions would have poor prospects to do business with Libya.

The Globe and Mail reporter said that the documents were found by him in a trash in Bab Akkarah neighbourhood, where many of Gaddafi`s top officials lived. The reporter claimed that documents were on the government procurement department.

The documents revealed that a high level Gaddafi delegation had made a trip to Beijing in July, where they met officials from Chinese State-owned arm firms.

The documents also said that the Chinese had offered Gaddafi`s forces QW-18 surface-to-air missiles which are akin to American Stinger Missiles.

State department Pentagon and US intelligence officials in Washington said they were studying the documents.