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WikiLeaks: When China 'dumped' Pakistan

December 01, 2010 14:35 IST

A top British diplomat in September 2009 told a visiting American diplomat that China has "dumped" Pakistan in the Conference on Disarmament, according to a United States cable leaked by whistleblower site WikiLeaks on Wednesday.

This is a good sign, Mariot Leslie, a senior British foreign official is quoted as saying in the cable in September 2009, which records her meeting with US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control, Ellen Tauscher.

"China has 'dumped' Pakistan in the Conference on Disarmament, which is a 'good sign'. Tauscher urged P5 action to get Pakistan to stop blocking progress in the CD on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty," the cable says.

P5 is commonly referred to the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council the US, Britain, China, France and Russia.

"Leslie flagged the 'inconvenient truth' that 'China is building its nuclear arsenal'. She evoked an arms race in the Pacific in light of India's nuclear program," the cable reported.

"Nonetheless, Leslie said she was optimistic regarding China's commitment to multilateral cooperation and she suggested that the US and the UK should push China for progress "until they say 'stop it'.

"She noted that the Chinese had 'pretty much' said a year ago that if the US ratifies the CTBT, China would follow suit," the cable said.

In the meeting, according to the cable, Leslie opined that P5 states are "losing the public diplomacy arguments about non-proliferation" and civil nuclear power, with the P3 and the P5 "being portrayed as the bad guy.

Jon Day, MOD Director General for Security Policy, expressed a similar sentiment, noting that there is "no real recognition" of what the UK has done in terms of non- proliferation and disarmament, "either in our own media or worldwide".

"Tauscher agreed that we all need to do a much better job of getting our narrative out, and noted that the State Department has brought in new people to help to do that," it said.

"In Leslie's view, the risk of proliferation is a bigger threat than terrorism but it ranks lower than terrorism on the publics list of perceived threats. She flagged efforts both by states and by terrorist groups to obtain nuclear weapons," the cable said.

The British interlocutors noted the British government's commitment to civil nuclear power and that the nuclear weapons states have done a poor job in terms of Article IV of the NPT.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband commented that the nuclear weapons states have a credibility problem with the non-nuclear weapons states, it said. "Leslie said that the UK had demonstrated its commitment to 'moving forward' civil nuclear issues, citing the UK-hosted and organised nuclear fuel cycle conference in March 2009 as an example.

"Tauscher agreed that we should support nuclear power and nuclear cooperation in a manner that does not lead to the spread of dangerous technologies, citing our agreement with the UAE as an example," the cable said.

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