The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said that the Chinese ship which was recently seized by India in February has been found carrying equipment which has 'military applications'. The Ministry also said that India's concerns on the issue have been conveyed to the Chinese side and hopes that the Chinese government will take appropriate measures to ensure that the Chinese entities do on engage in activities that can contribute to 'proliferation'.
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, "Our authorities had detained a Chinese vessel “Da Cui Yun” when it berthed in Kandla Port in early February, as it had misdeclared the item that is was carrying. Our examination has revealed that the item is an ‘autoclave’ that is controlled under our Dual-Use Export Control lists. Therefore the item has been seized by our authorities as per our legal procedure."
He added, "It has also been ascertained by our examination that this item has military applications. We have conveyed our concerns on this issue to the Chinese side and have highlighted that as a friendly country the Chinese government will take appropriate measures to ensure that the Chinese entities do not engage in activities that can contribute to proliferation."
An autoclave is a pressure chamber to carry out various industrial and scientific processes. It has been certified as a “dual-use" item, which means it can be used for civilian and military purposes.
Meanwhile, China said on Thursday that the industrial autoclave seized from a Pakistan-bound Chinese ship at the Kandla port is a heat treatment furnace shell system and not a dual-use item under the non-proliferation and export control as alleged by the Indian officials.
Asked about reports that officials of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) confirmed that the industrial autoclave seized from the Chinese ship 'Da Cui Yun' can be used for the "manufacture of very long-range ballistic missiles or satellite launch rockets", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said it is not for military use.
"China has noted the relevant reports. As a responsible major country, China has been strictly fulfilling the international non-proliferation obligations and international commitments," Zhao said. "After seeking the information, we know that this item is actually a heat treatment furnace shell system, produced by a private company in China. This is not for military use and it is not a dual-use item under the non-proliferation and export control," he said.
Reports said the ship bearing Hong Kong flag was detained by Customs at Kandla Port in Gujarat while en-route to Port Qasim, Karachi, on February 3. The cargo of the Chinese ship has been offloaded and kept in a godown at the port.
(With agency inputs)