India-US n-deal major blow to global non proliferation: Chinese daily

September 2nd, 2008 - 1:10 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 1 (IANS) With barely three days to go for the crucial Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting in Vienna, People’s Daily, China’s leading newspaper, Monday carried an article criticising the India-US nuclear deal and its possible negative impact on the global non proliferation regime.”Whether it is motivated by geopolitical considerations or commercial interests, the US-India nuclear agreement has constituted a major blow to the international non-proliferation regime,” said the commentary by Fan Jishe, a researcher from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a leading state think tank in the country.

The 45 member NSG, of which China is also a member, would decide at its meeting slated for Sep 4 and 5 whether the existing ban should be lifted to begin nuclear commerce with India.

The commentary by Fan went to argue that on the crucial aspect - whether fuel supply and trade with India will be stopped if it conducts another nuclear test - nothing has been said.

It added that there was no commitment from India that it would not conduct any further tests.

Officially the Chinese government has not yet made any comments on either the NSG meeting that would decide on whether a “clean waiver” should be given to India or on the nuclear deal that New Delhi plans to sign with Washington.

But Fan’s article Monday has raised questions in various quarters whether this was a way for China to express its displeasure about US’ attempt to grant the special concession for India at the NSG and on the nuclear deal with New Delhi.

Critical articles about India has often appeared in the commentary pages of the People’s Daily in the recent past.

Some months back, another commentator had raised serious doubts whether India with its several problems at home could rise to be a regional and global player.

“We have taken note of the piece but would not like to make any comments about it,” official Indian sources in South Block said.

“China had supported the safeguards agreement at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) early last month. There is nothing to suggest that it has decided to play an active role in blocking a clean waiver for India at the NSG meeting,” the sources added.

The indications were clear that India was not willing to over-react about the commentary to turn it into an issue on China-Indian relations.

Rather the main focus and attention of the Indian establishment was now concentrated on whether NSG members would accept the new draft prepared by the US at its meeting and grant the “clean waiver” that India has been asking for.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi is coming to India next week on a three-day official visit. The Indian displeasure, if at all, would perhaps be raised at the meetings that the Chinese leader is scheduled to have with leaders in New Delhi.

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