Beijing: Close on the heels of Pakistan launching work on its largest atomic power project with Chinese help, Beijing on Monday said close cooperation between the two sides on nuclear energy will continue as it was for "peaceful purposes".
Cooperation between China and Pakistan on nuclear energy is exclusively for peaceful purposes and in the interests of the local people, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
The two countries have cooperated on civilian nuclear energy for years, she told a daily news briefing when asked to comment on reports about the construction of the mega nuclear power plant in the Pakistani port city of Karachi.
"Such cooperation is entirely for peaceful purposes, in line with international obligations, and subject to the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency," Hua was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.
On November 26, Pakistan began work on the nuclear complex in Karachi that will have two Chinese reactors with a capacity of 2,200 MW. The project is estimated to cost USD 9.6 billion and will be completed in six years.
China`s nuclear trade and cooperation with Pakistan have caused significant concern in India and the West, which believe the new plants will free Pakistan`s older reactors to produce uranium for weapons.
But Hua said the cooperation helps to ease Pakistan`s electricity shortage and is in the interest of local people. China will continue to provide assistance within its ability, she said.
China attaches great importance to peaceful use of nuclear energy and cooperates with various countries on the premise of strict adherence to non-proliferation, Hua said.