China defends military items found on cargo ship headed to Cuba

China's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that a Chinese cargo ship was carrying legitimate military items when it was stopped in Colombia on its way to Cuba.

Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the items were part of "normal military trade" between China and Cuba and did not violate Chinese law or any of the country's international obligations.

"To my knowledge, the cargo ship carried general military items China exported to Cuba, and there were no sensitive items," Hua said.

Reports in Colombia said the ship was carrying 100 tons of gunpowder, shell casings and detonators when it was detained Saturday at a Colombian port.

Authorities told The Associated Press the ship's documentation failed to report the military items. The ship's captain appeared before a local judge on Tuesday to answer charges of arms trafficking.