China Denies U.S. Claims That It Sold Weapons to Iran, North Korea

China on Friday denounced accusations by top U.S. officials that it was selling weapons to Iran and North Korea. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang called the criticism "groundless and irresponsible," the official Xinhua News Agency said. No other details were given.

Peter Rodman, assistant secretary of defense for international security, on Thursday urged China to re-evaluate its relationship with allies Iran and North Korea, two countries with which the United States is locked in tense nuclear standoffs.

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He said Washington sees in China "a general willingness to transfer a wide variety of technologies to customers around the world."

The U.S. worries that Chinese companies have helped Iran as it tries to establish a self-sufficient ballistic missile production program, Rodman said.

Beijing has said it opposes the spread of weapons technology and materials, and it forbids Chinese companies from transferring such material.