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US wants China to clarify Pakistan atomic reactor deal
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) April 29, 2010

The United States said Tuesday it had sought clarification from China on the sale of two civilian nuclear reactors to Pakistan, saying the deal must be approved by the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

"We've asked China to clarify the details of its sale of additional nuclear reactors to Pakistan," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.

The Financial Times reported in April that Chinese companies will build at least two new 650-megawatt reactors at Chashma in Punjab province.

"This appears to extend beyond cooperation that was grand-fathered when China was approved for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)," Crowley added.

"We believe that such cooperation would require specific exemption approved by consensus of the NSG, as was done for India."

The 45-member NSG, which controls the export and sale of nuclear technology worldwide, has granted a waiver for India, a nuclear weapons state that has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

In April, an expert quoted by The Financial Times said China likely felt emboldened to go ahead with the deal after the United States signed a civilian nuclear agreement with Pakistan's arch-rival India in 2008.

The agreement facilitated nuclear cooperation between the world's two biggest democracies despite India's refusal to sign the NPT.


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