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Autoclave Seized at Gujarat Port from Pak-bound Chinese Ship Not for Military Use, Says China

Representative Image (Reuters)

Representative Image (Reuters)

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the item is a heat treatment furnace shell system, produced by a private company in China.

Beijing: China said on Thursday that the industrial autoclave seized from a Pakistan-bound Chinese ship at the Kandla port in Gujarat is a heat treatment furnace shell system and not a dual-use item under the non-proliferation and export control as alleged by the Indian officials.

Asked about reports that officials of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) confirmed that the industrial autoclave seized from the Chinese ship 'Da Cui Yun' can be used for the "manufacture of very long-range ballistic missiles or satellite launch rockets", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said it is not for military use.

"China has noted the relevant reports. As a responsible major country, China has been strictly fulfilling the international non-proliferation obligations and international commitments," Zhao said.

"After seeking the information, we know that this item is actually a heat treatment furnace shell system, produced by a private company in China. This is not for military use and it is not a dual-use item under the non-proliferation and export control," he said.

He said the Chinese merchant ship and its owner have declared this item truthfully beforehand with the Indian authorities, so there is "no concealment and forced declaration".

He, however, did not respond to the part of the question quoting reports that India's national security authorities could notify the UN pursuant to relevant Security Council legal instruments to expose the nuclear proliferation nexus between China and Pakistan.

Reports said the ship bearing Hong Kong flag was detained by Customs Kandla Port in Gujarat while en-route to Port Qasim, Karachi on February 3.

The cargo of the Chinese ship has been offloaded and kept in a godown at the port.