China believes US would not mount pressure over Pak nuke deal: Expert

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Washington, July 8 (ANI): Despite initial concerns, the United States is unlikely to pressurise China over its plans to build two nuclear reactors in Pakistan, an American expert on Sino-Pakistan relationship has said.

Andrew Small of the German Marshall Fund of the United States said Beijing believes that Washington would need its support on various issues such as Iran's nuclear ambitions, because of which it would be hesitant to mount pressure on it.

"The Chinese also believe that Washington needs Beijing's support on issues such as Iran at the moment and will be unwilling to mount serious resistance to the deal," Small said in an interview published by the Council on Foreign Relations.

"Moreover, in private, Chinese analysts are quite clear that this is a strategic tit-for-tat (in response to US-India nuclear deal)," Small pointed out.

"Beijing has been testing the water to see how other countries - and particularly the United States - react, but so far seems to think that it won't encounter serious pushback, There is little appetite in Beijing for going through the sort of process that the United States undertook at the NSG for the India deal," The Dawn quoted Small, as saying.

Last month, China notified the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) about its plan to build two 650 megawatt nuclear power plants in Pakistan's Punjab province' Chasma region, which already two nuclear reactors.

The international community, particularly India and the US, had conveyed serious concern over the deal.

India's National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, who visited Beijing earlier this week, said that the Chinese leaders have assured him that the reactors would follow all international obligations.

"India will "wait and see" how Beijing goes about it," Menon said. (ANI)

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