Beijing: A day after the United States sought clarifications from China over its nuclear deal with Pakistan, Beijing has asserted that the sale of two nuclear reactors to Islamabad is completely according to international obligations.
“China and Pakistan have maintained cooperation in recent years in the civilian use of nuclear energy. This cooperation is in line with our respective international obligations and totally for peaceful purposes, and has International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and supervision,” a newspaper quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang, as saying.
Earlier, State Department spokesperson Philip Crowley had said that China must clarify that the deal has been approved by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) before moving on with the project.
“We’ve asked China to clarify the details of its sale of additional nuclear reactors to Pakistan,” Crowley said.
Reports indicate that Chinese companies would be assisting Islamabad to construct at least two new 650-megawatt reactors at Chashma in Punjab province.
“This appears to extend beyond cooperation that was grand-fathered when China was approved for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). We believe that such cooperation would require specific exemption approved by consensus of the NSG, as was done for India,” Crowley said.
It may be noted that the 45-member NSG, which controls the export and sale of nuclear technology worldwide, had granted a waiver for India, which has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), when the US signed a civil nuclear deal with it in 2008.