China Defends N-Deal With Pakistan

China defended Thursday its civilian nuclear co-operation with Pakistan to build two new nuclear reactors, and vowed to take its military ties with Islamabad to a “new high.”

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman claimed that its nuclear co-operation with Pakistan was peaceful in nature and was under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He added that China’s plan to provide Pakistan with two new reactors was in line with its international obligations.

The Chinese observation came following talks between visiting Pakistan Army Chief of Staff, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, and China’s Defense Minister Liang Guanglie.
It also came after the U.S. State Department stated it had sought clarification from Beijing on the sale of two new nuclear reactors to Pakistan.

“This appears to extend beyond co-operation that was grandfathered when China was approved for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” it said.

The Chinese defense minister said Beijing would join hands with Pakistan to take military relations to a new high. The two countries should make continuous efforts to boost their joint defense programs, he added.
“Co-operation between the Chinese and Pakistani armed forces is exemplary and has been fruitful,” Liang, also a state councilor, was quoted as having said by Xinhua during the meeting.

Terming the defense ties between the two countries as “all- weather,” Chinese officials said both Beijing and Islamabad had “pledged to strengthen these ties” after the Kayani-Liang meeting.

Kayani, who is heading a high-level Pakistani military delegation on a five-day visit to China, also met with Chinese Minister for Public Security Meng Jianzhu, top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo, and the vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, Guo Boxiong.

Bangguo said Beijing would work for promoting a strategic co-operative partnership with Islamabad.

Highlighting the co-operation between the armed forces of the two neighbors, he added that joint efforts to combat the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement” was a testament to the fact that Pakistan-China relations were on the right track.


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