Chinese N-reactors to Pak a fallout of US-India nuke deal

October 24th, 2008 - 2:50 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington , Oct 24 (ANI): China s decision to supply two nuclear power plants to Pakistan is a fall out of the recently concluded Indo-US civil nuclear deal, say South Asia experts in the US .

According to them, the Indo-US N-deal is prompting other countries in volatile region South Asia to seek a similar deal, something the US had said would not happen.

Michael Krepon, a South Asia nuclear proliferation expert at the Henry L. Stimson Center in Washington , said: You can”t help but hear about China supplying Pakistan with nuclear power plants and see it as a reaction to the US-India deal. Pakistan is desperate for energy, as is India , but there are lower-cost and shorter-timeline options for producing it, so there is something else going on here and in the Middle East .

According to a report in the Christian Science Monitor (CSM), that something else is a regional scramble to counterbalance the nuclear plans of often untrusted neighbors. In the case of Pakistan , it’’s the pursuit of a counterweight to offset the expanding US-India strategic partnership particularly in the nuclear realm through a similar, though less ambitious, partnership with China , added the report.

After his recent China visit, Zardari returned to Islamabad without the billions in loans he is believed to have sought from China , so speculation has arisen that the nuclear deal was something of a consolation prize.

It could be a political fig leaf, since Zardari didnt get the financial package he wanted, or China could be legitimately concerned about the US-India deal, it’’s hard to know, says Jon Wolfsthal, a nonproliferation expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Wolfsthal said: What is clear is that the US-India deal which gives India , once a nuclear pariah for refusing to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, access to international nuclear technology and to fuel for nuclear power plants is having an I-want-some-too impact. The US-India deal makes it harder for the US to argue that countries like China shouldn”t pursue nuclear trade with a country like Pakistan . (ANI)

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