China: Don’t Politicize Turkey Missile Deal

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua ChunyingChina said Friday that a controversial proposal to sell a Chinese missile defense system to U.S. ally and NATO member Turkey should not be politicized. The call came a day after a U.S. diplomat expressed concerns over the deal. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that the deal constituted ‘‘normal arms trade cooperation’’ and should be viewed ‘‘rationally and objectively.’’

‘‘Don’t politicize the relevant normal commercial competition,’’ Hua said at a regularly scheduled news conference.

Hua’s comments followed remarks Thursday by the U.S. ambassador to Turkey that the United States had concerns about the Chinese system’s compatibility with NATO’s missile and air defense systems.

Francis Ricciardone said the U.S. has begun consultations with Turkey on the issue.

Image: Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying (photo: Chinese Foreign Ministry)