Millennium Post

Nuke reactors supply to Pak under NSG norms: China

Refuting a US think tank report which said that China's nuclear cooperation with Pakistan was in contravention with the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) principles, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying said China-Pakistan cooperation is in accordance with the 48-member nuclear club, which supervises global nuclear commerce.

"China has stated on many occasions that the cooperation between China and Pakistan in the civil nuclear energy sector is completely for peaceful purpose," Hua said.

"Such cooperation is subject to the safeguards and supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and in accordance with the NSG's principles and the international obligations assumed by the two countries," Hua told PTI.

The Arms Control Association (ACA) has expressed concern over export of nuclear materials by China to Pakistan saying that it is in violation of international norms and established procedures.

"China has taken significant steps over the past several years to strengthen its export controls. However, Beijing's decision to continue selling nuclear reactors to Pakistan in contravention of NSG and its sales of missile technologies to countries of concern earns China a failing grade," the ACA report said.

In its updated report card 2013-2016 'Assessing Progress on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament', ACA gave China a failing "F Grade" on nuclear weapons related export control.

China had joined the NSG in 2004 and its national export controls include provisions related to export licensing, control lists, end-user controls, and import controls.

At the IAEA General Conference in 2015, China had said it carried out "stringent reviews" on its export controls and adjusts its trigger lists according to technical progress.

In March 2016, Beijing said it started to implement the Nuclear Export Control List that was updated in January 2016.

"Despite progress on its export controls China continues to supply Pakistan with nuclear power reactors, despite objections that the sale of the reactors did not receive a consensus exemption from the NSG," the report said.

"Pakistan, which is neither an NPT member nor under full- scope IAEA safeguards, is therefore ineligible to receive such assistance under NSG rules," it argued.

ACA observations about the consensus and NPT were significant as China blocked India's application to join NSG in the recent NSG Plenary meeting in Seoul despite the support of majority of its members, saying that it lacked the mandatory requirement of consensus among the group.

China also said India was not a signatory to NPT, yet another obligatory requirement to join the NSG.
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