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Sino-Pak nuke deal signed in 2009; six new agreements inked

Amid concerns by India and the US, Pakistan on Wednesday claimed that it had inked a deal with China to build two nuclear reactors in 2009 itself.



Beijing: Amid concerns by India and the
US, Pakistan on Wednesday claimed that it had inked a deal with China
to build two nuclear reactors in 2009 itself, even as the two
countries signed six agreements during the visit of President
Asif Ali Zardari to cement their all weather bilateral ties.

The two countries inked six agreements after Zardari
met his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao which covered
agriculture, health-care, justice, media and economy.
China also pledged 50 million Yuan (USD 7.38 million)
for new projects in Pakistan to coincide with Zardari`s fifth
visit since 2008.

"The two countries have worked together and will
continue to work together to further deepen the people to
people contacts and China is a friend and a strategic partner
committed to the promotion of stability and economic progress
of Pakistan" Hu said.

Before the arrival of Zardari here his spokesperson
told media, that Beijing has demonstrated yet again its strong
support to Islamabad by categorically reiterating that it will
go ahead with the construction of the two nuclear reactors.

An agreement which "goes along well with the
international non-proliferation obligations of China and
Pakistan" was signed during Zardari`s last year visit here,
the President`s press secretary Farhatullah Babar was quoted
as saying by Pakistan`s official APP news agency.

His remarks came as Pakistan`s Ambassador to China,
Masood Khan said the issues relating to nuclear plants would
certainly be on the agenda of Zardari`s talks with the Chinese
leaders.

"Our cooperation is transparent and will be under the
IAEA safeguard," Khan said. However, there was no word on the
nuclear deal in the official Chinese media.

On his arrival here last night, Zardari said "we
believe that China is a factor of stability in the region."

"This is my fifth visit to China since October 2008
and I have truly been inspired by the remarkable achievements
of the Chinese people," he said.

India and the United States have already conveyed
their concerns to China over the Sino-Pak nuclear deal.

National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, who held
extensive talks with the Chinese leaders during his four-day
visit here which ended yesterday, has said that he was told by
the Chinese leaders that the reactors would be built under
international obligations and added that India will "wait and
see" how Beijing goes about it.
The news about China`s plans to build nuclear
reactors for Pakistan was first carried by `China National
Nuclear Corporation` on its website in March this year.

China notified the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)
about its plan in this regard last month. The new agreements
were signed today after one-to-one talks followed by
delegation level talks between Zardari and Chinese President
Hu Jintao.

Echoing Hu`s remarks, Zardari said Pakistan and
China would work together to combat the "three forces" so to
jointly safeguard peace and stability in the region, state run
Xinhua news agency reported.

As a sign of closer cooperation on fighting
terrorism between the neighbours, currently a joint
anti-terrorism drill, code-named "Friendship-2010," is being
held between China and Pakistan`s armed forces in northwest
China`s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

On trade cooperation, Hu said China would explore
new ways to cooperate as well as cement cooperation between
the two countries in such areas as energy, transportation,
telecommunication, infrastructure and agriculture.

Hu said that China had become Pakistan`s second
largest trading partner and pledged to make "steady progress
in cooperation with Pakistan in energy, telecom sectors,
Neelum Jhelum project and Pakistan telecommunication
satellite project."
Hina Rabbani Khar signed an agreement on economic
and technical cooperation on the occasion.

The Chairman of China`s Three Gorges Corporation Cao
Guagjing after meeting with President Zardari said, "we are in
agreement with the government of Pakistan to develop hydro and
other means of power generation including wind energy".

He said feasibility for the USD 2.6 billion Kohala
hydel project has been completed, which will provide 1200 MW
electricity after its completion in four years.

He said work on feasibility study for the Bunji dam
project has begun that will produce 7000 MW at a cost of USD 8
billion.

The Chairman of Sino-Hydro Liu Qitao told the media
after meeting with the President that his company has presence
in Pakistan for two decades.

The Sino-Hydro specializes in building infrastructure
for power and irrigation projects.

He pointed out that the Sino-Hydro would carry out a
big irrigation project by building Darwat dam.

General Manage of Pakistan Railways Ashfaq Khattak
said Pakistan has decided to purchase 75 new railway engines
and 200 bogies from China Northern Railways.

The 60th anniversary of the establishment of
China-Pakistan diplomatic ties falls in 2011 and the two
countries should prepare early for the celebrations, Hu said.

Hu appreciated the efforts the Pakistani government
had made to safeguard the security of Chinese nationals and
organisations in Pakistan.
During the two-hour-long talks, Hu and Zardari also
vowed to jointly fight extremism, separatism and terrorism.

China and Pakistan are both victims of terrorism,
the anti-terror cooperation between the two countries on
fighting the "three forces" complies with the interests of
both peoples and is conducive to peace, stability, security in
the region, said Hu.

Now there are more than 120 companies and over
10,000 Chinese nationals in Pakistan, engaged in fields like
mining, energy exploration and infrastructure.

Zardari hoped the two countries could further
enhance cooperation in areas like energy, financing and
transportation, and invited more Chinese firms to invest in
Pakistan.

Pakistan would create a secure environment for
Chinese firms, said Zardari.

Hu said China attached importance to Pakistan`s
unique influence and role in regional affairs, and China would
enhance coordination with Pakistan within the framework of
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

China would continue to maintain contacts with
Pakistan on issues like the reform of the UN Security Council
and climate change in order to ensure the common interests of
the developing countries, said Hu.

China and Pakistan are good neighbours, friends,
partners and brothers, and China would work with Pakistan to
push forward the bilateral strategic partnership in a
comprehensive manner so to contribute to regional peace and
stability, said Hu.

Zardari arrived in Beijing Tuesday evening on a
five-day working visit to China, the fifth China tour since he
became president of Pakistan in 2008.

On Thursday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and top
political advisor Jia Qinglin will also meet with Zardari.

Zardari will leave Beijing for Shanghai later this
week, and visit the Pakistani National Pavilion at the
Shanghai World Expo.

PTI

From Zee News

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