US questions China on reactor sales to Pakistan


Washington : Days after China sidestepped questions raised by Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) members about its plan to sell Pakistan two additional reactors, the US has asked Beijing for more information on the controversial deal.

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“We did raise the issue” during last week’s meeting of the 46-member NSG in New Zealand, the State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters Monday when asked if the US was satisfied with China’s clarification on the issue.

“We have a view that this initiative, as it goes forward, would need the agreement of the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” he said noting that there was no unanimity at the meeting of the NSG, which operates by consensus.

“And we continue to seek information from China regarding its future plans,” Crowley said. “As a first step, we’re looking for more information from China as to what it is potentially proposing. ”

Meanwhile, Arms Control Association, a Washington based disarmament group, has said that “if the NSG is to remain effective and credible, member states must respect uphold their own rules, avoid actions that feed the nuclear arms race, and strengthen their guidelines to prevent weapons-related nuclear technology from proliferating in the years ahead.”

In an editorial, its journal Arms Control Today said the NSG has provided an important check on proliferation. But in recent years, “to their great discredit a few leading NSG states have reversed or ignored NSG guidelines for commercial profit and improved bilateral ties with nuclear trading partners,” it said citing the NSG exemption for India-US civil nuclear deal.”