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NATO Chief Worried about Turkey Buying Chinese Missile Tech

The leader of NATO on Monday said he had misgivings over alliance member Turkey's recent announcement it would likely purchase a missile-defense system from a Chinese weapons manufacturer that is under U.S. sanctions, Reuters reported.

"What is important for us is that the system acquired by the individual country ... must be able to work and operate with the systems in other countries," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on the sidelines of a forum in Copenhagen. "I expect that Turkey will also comply with that."

In late September, Ankara said it was inclined to ink a $3.4 billion deal with the China Precision Military Import and Export Corp. to co-produce the company's FD-2000 long-range antimissile system. The CPMIEC firm was sanctioned by the Obama administration earlier this year for contravening the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act.

The possible deal has caused misgivings inside the United States and NATO because of concerns Chinese developers could build in cyber back-doors that would give them access to NATO data and defense plans. The Western military alliance is in the process of building a NATO-wide ballistic missile shield that would augment and link-up individual member states' antimissile systems.

The Chinese government on Tuesday said there was no need for concern over the weapons deal, which if it goes forward would be a major coup for the nation's efforts to become a major exporter of high-tech military technology, Reuters separately reported.

"The cooperation between the Chinese firm and Turkey is normal military cooperation between the two countries," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said to journalists. "We hope that all relevant parties can objectively and rationally view this cooperation, and should not politicize normal commercial competition."

Turkey chose the Chinese company over more-costly antimissile systems offered by U.S. and European competitors.

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Country Profile

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This article provides an overview of Turkey’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

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