US all but gives up on stalling Sino-Pak nuclear agreement

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Washington, July 4 (ANI): China has reiterated that its nuclear agreement with Pakistan to set up two new reactors in Punjab's Chasma region is in accordance with all international obligations, while on the other hand the United States, which has until now objected to the deal, appears to have kneel down over the issue.

A statement issued by the Chinese Embassy here said that the Sino-Pakistan nuclear deal "goes along well with the international obligations that both countries carry in relation to the international nuclear non-proliferation regime".

Embassy spokesperson Wang Baodong also rejected the US' stand that Beijing would need a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to go ahead with the project.

Beijing is one of the 46 member states of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which seeks to block access to nuclear technology and materials by nations that have not joined the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

The United States has been objecting to the deal, but the objection has apparently gone 'meek' in the recent days which was evident form State Department spokesman's statement.

"The United States has reiterated concern that the transfer of new reactors at Chashma appears to extend beyond cooperation that was 'grandfathered' when China was approved for membership in the NSG," The Dawn quoted Noel Clay, as saying.

"We are still waiting for more information from China to clarify its intended cooperation with Pakistan, in light of China's NSG commitments," Clay added.

Experts also believe that Washington has got little option to counter Beijing's nuke overture to Islamabad.

"The US doesn't really have any options. The Nuclear Suppliers Group's guidelines are voluntary. There is nothing the US can do to prevent China from going ahead with this deal," said Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,

"Unless Washington comes up with a very, very attractive offer, the history of Chinese-Pakistani relations is such that it is unlikely that this deal will not go through," added Heritage Foundation researcher Dean Cheng. (ANI)

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