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China sells fighter jets to Sudanese army

Dec 8, 2005 (WASHINGTON) — Sudanese army efforts to modernize its aviation army seem finding in China the best weaponry provider. China has become the top supplier of fighter-bombers to Sudanese regime, a report published in Washington revealed.

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Shenyang fighter

The Washington-based Jamestown Foundation said in a report that China has become the fifth largest arms supplier to the African continent. The report, entitled " Beijing’s Arms and Oil Interests in Africa," asserted that China has sold fighter-jets and helicopters to Khartoum.

Sudan’s air force recently bought $100 million worth of Shenyang fighter planes, including a dozen supersonic F-7 jets, and also purchased 34 other fighter-bombers from Beijing.

Vice-Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission Xu Caihou, said that China is ready to increase military exchanges and cooperation with the Sudan. Mohamed Ismail, deputy chief of general staff of the Sudanese armed forces was in a visit to China at the end of November.

Chinese oil companies have become big stakeholders in Sudan’s oil and natural gas fields. The state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. owns 40 percent of Sudan’s largest oil field.

"China rarely attaches any political strings to its assistance to Africa," said Jamestown Foundation report

The Chinese and Russian governments have been allowing the sale of military equipment to the Sudanese government, according to an Amnesty International report published 16 November 2004.

The Russians and Chinese from their permanent seats on the Security Council have constantly opposed moves by other members to impose sanctions or an arms embargo on Sudan.

China has sold fighter jets and helicopters to Sudan since the 1990s, while Russia sent 12 MiG jet fighters to Sudan in July 2004.

(UPI/MENL/ST)