Zardari to visit China to firm up nuke deal

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari will commence a high level visit to China from July 6 during which the two countries will firm up a deal for supply of two new nuclear reactors.

Beijing: Pakistan President Asif Ali
Zardari will commence a high level visit to China from July 6
during which the two countries will firm up a deal for supply
of two new nuclear reactors to Islamabad.

Announcing the visit of Zardari, which comes close on
the heels of a tour of China by Pakistan Army chief Gen.
Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin
Gang defended the nuclear cooperation between the two

But, parried questions relating to China`s plans to
build nuclear reactors saying the move was not aimed at any
third country.

The announcement of the Pakistan`s President visit
here comes as US has asked China to clarify the details of the
nuclear reactor deal between the two countries.

Zardari would arrive on a state visit to China from
July 6-11, during which the two countries would firm up their
strategic cooperation including the proposed two nuclear power
reactors Beijing plans to build for its all weather friend.

"The civilian nuclear energy cooperation is
bilateral and mutually beneficial and it is only between the
two countries and not targeting a third country," Qin said,
dismissing a question about India`s concerns over China`s
plans to build 650 mw reactors at Chashma in Pakistan`s Punjab

"During Zardari`s visit the two sides will exchange
view on further promoting friendly cooperation in various
areas," he said.

China would "warmly welcome" Pakistan President and
look to deepen the strategic cooperation. During his visit,
Zardari would hold talks with Chinese President, Hu Jintao.

He would meet Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao and Jia
Qinglin, Polit Bureau Standing Committee Member of the Chinese
Communist Party, Central Committee, Qin said.

The two sides will exchange views on concerning
bilateral relations, promoting "pragmatic cooperation" in
various fields as well as well issues of common interest.

"We hope this visit will further promote China
Pakistan strategic partnership and cooperation," he said.

His visit follows this month`s visit of Pakistan
Army Chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Asked whether the issues relating to nuclear reactors,
which raised concerns both in United States and India would
come up during Zardari`s talks with Chinese leaders, Qin
reiterated of repeated China`s stand that the nuclear
cooperation between the two countries was for civilian use and
completely inline with the international obligations.

To a question on India-Japanese talks to reach
agreement on nuclear cooperation, Qin said China believes that
all sovereign countries are entitled to peaceful use of the
nuclear energy.

"We also believe that they have to comply with their
international obligations` regarding nuclear non proliferation
relating to the development of nuclear energy and conducting
relevant nuclear cooperation."

Such cooperation should be conducive to safeguarding
the "completeness and effectiveness of international non
proliferation regime," he said.

China endorsed the India-US nuclear accord at the NSG
meeting, when gave its final stamp of approval for it.

Qin also said China proposes to discuss issues
relating to terrorism, specially its concerns over extremist
elements involve in Muslim Uyghur majority Xinjiang province,
bordering Pakistan during Zardari`s visit.

Forces of terrorism posed a common threat to
Pakistan, China and countries in the region, he said. China
appreciates efforts taken by Pakistan government to firmly
crackdown of terrorist forces and "we are willing to continue
our cooperation Pakistani government in this regard," he said.

China apprehends trouble from the "East Turkestan
Islamic Movement" (ETIM) and has been pressing Pakistan to
crackdown hard on it supporters, which spread across the
region. Recently Beijing claimed to have arrested a ten
activists of the group.


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