China is aiding Iran and Syria in projects to develop more advanced surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, Haaretz reported quoting US sources.
They added that Beijing is helping the two Middle East countries set up a factory to make missile engines, guidance systems and solid fuels.
Israeli sources confirmed that on several occasions, including the recent visit to Israel by China President Jiang Zemin, Jerusalem has asked China to refrain from assisting those countries in missile development, the daily said.
Quoting Israeli officials, Chinese support for the missile projects is mainly being implemented in Iran in fields that experts consider critical to the development of long-range missiles.
The source added that China's missile-technology transfers to Syria and Iran are currently being mentioned by the United States in talks with Israel over the sale of the Phalcon spy plane to China, over which Washington and Tel Aviv have faced off repeatedly.
The Americans make the argument that, in exchange for cash, Israel is willing to ignore the military aid China provides to Iran and Syria in the form of ballistic-missile technology, the Israeli source said.
"On the other hand, Israel demands that Washington act forcefully to block Russian missile deals with Iran, but does not hold Beijing to the same standard. American sources say they see this as a puzzling contradiction in Israeli policy," the source added - Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )