US, Vietnam nuke deal could be ‘destabilizing’, unsettle China: Experts

August 6th, 2010 - 1:02 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Aug.6 (ANI): The US and Vietnam - two former Cold War foes - are in advanced talks to share nuclear fuel and technology, which could “unsettle” China.

Chinese analysts believe the sharing of nuclear fuel and technology between Washington and Hanoi could disrupt international stability.

“The US is used to employing double standards when dealing with different countries … as a global power that has promoted denuclearization, it has challenged its own reputation and disturbed the preset international order,” the China Daily quoted Teng Jianqun, a deputy-director of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, as saying in Beijing on Thursday. Analysts said this is not the first time Washington has ignored international regulations over the issue.

In 2008, the US signed a nuclear technology deal with India, which did not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and therefore, was not entitled to receiving such transfers. The deal was still granted an exemption due to the US insistence.

Under the new agreement, Hanoi will reportedly be allowed to enrich uranium on its own soil, a move that is also expected to hamper global nuclear nonproliferation efforts.

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials are yet to respond to the news.The latest deal “marked a step backward in Washington’s recent non-proliferation efforts”, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Since the George W. Bush administration, Washington has been requiring countries interested in nuclear cooperation with the US to renounce the right to enrich uranium for civilian purposes, as the technology also can be used to make atomic weapons.

The Obama administration has accelerated nuclear talks with Hanoi, initiated back in 2001, in recent months.

“If we’re able to have US companies and technologies in play in Vietnam, this gives the ability to exert some leverage,” the WSJ quoted US officials as saying.

They added: “If we shut ourselves out, others may have different standards.”

“Washington thinks that because Asia is much different from the Middle East and will be less concerned about nuclear terrorism, its deal with Hanoi will not attract too much opposition,” Teng said.

Beijing will not be directly threatened by the deal but it will still have to be on its guard, analysts said. (ANI)

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