Chinese manufactured weapons and ammunition are being circuitously supplied to insurgents via Iran to Iraq and Afghanistan to be used against the alliance.
In a recent Weekly Standard article, John J. Tkacik Jr., a Senior Fellow of the Heritage Institute in Washington DC (former US Foreign Affairs Officer in China), writes about small arms, rocket propelled grenades (RPG), ammunition as well as ground-to-air and ground-to-sea missiles and incendiary explosive devices (IED) made in China and shipped to Iran and immediately transshipped to Iraq and Afghanistan to be used by the insurgents against the US-led alliance.
Of the small arms are the .50 caliber sniper rifles, which have been responsible for the death of 170 US and UK troops in Afghanistan. They were blamed on the Austrian-made Steyr-Mannlichter HS-50 to the point where the US placed a two-year ban on their sales. There was, however, no indication that any of those weapons have been seen in Iraq or Afghanistan. Instead a very similar copy made by China South Industries - the AMR-2 12.7mm anti-material rifle - has been much in evidence.
The incendiary explosive devices are the most used against armoured units such as Canada has sent to Afghanistan and have taken their toll most recently. The part of the bomb that is manufactured in China is the fusing device.
US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told press " there is no evidence yet" that Tehran is involved in the weapons trade. The subtlety is, however, in that the Revolutionary Guard is not considered as part of the "government” just as the Chinese Army is not part of the Chinese Government.
However, a person closer to the ground, or less politically involved than Gates makes a different observation. On July 22nd Agence France Presse (AFP) quoted top US Military spokesman in Baghdad Rear Admiral Mark I. Fox, who said that "there are missiles that are actually manufactured in China that we assess come through Iran," to fight US-led troops in Iraq.
Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Richard Lawless told the Financial Times (US) on July 7th that the US has "become increasingly alarmed that Chinese armour-piercing ammunition has been used by the Taliban in Afghanistan and the insurgents in Iraq."
In his article Tkacik explains that China in now using the same tactic that the US used when the USSR fought in Afghanistan. By keeping the USSR tied up by supporting the Mujahideen they drained its resources and its involvement from other areas. Since China does not need the money (having 1.3 trillion in foreign cash reserves) it could be drawing the US from looking at other issues (perhaps Taiwan?).
Chinese weapons used against US-led alliance