BEIJING — China confirmed on Monday that representatives of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi visited in July in a bid to buy arms, news that could further damage Beijing's relations with the new opposition government in Tripoli.
Although China insists no weapons were delivered, a spokesman for the Libyan opposition said there is evidence that Chinese companies shipped weapons through Algeria to Gadhafi's forces after the outbreak of the uprising in violation of a U.N. arms embargo.
Rebel military spokesman Abdel Raham Busim said documentation was still being collected and the new government was considering bringing legal action against Beijing, possibly at the United Nations.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Gadhafi's officials met with representatives from Chinese companies but insisted that no contracts were signed and no weapons were shipped. She said China strictly adheres to a United Nations ban on supplying arms to the toppled regime and backed the role of the U.N. in a post-conflict Libya.
"Chinese companies have not provided military products to Libya in any direct or indirect form," Jiang told reporters at a regular briefing.