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Chinese media flays N-deal
December 10, 2006 18:51 IST
Maintaining its strident opposition to the historic Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, the Chinese state media has accused Washington of contradicting its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
"The bill set a precedent for India, which is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The US Atomic Energy Act prohibits nuclear sales to non-NPT signatories," the state-run Xinhua news agency said soon after the US Congress approved the legislation that will help implement the deal.
"The legislation is also in contradiction to the obligations of Washington as a lead signatory to the NPT. The treaty obligates its signatories not to provide assistance to the nuclear programmes of states that did not sign the NPT," Xinhua said in its latest criticism of the deal.
At the same time, the report said that though the US Congress has approved the Indo-US nuclear bill, the legislation still faced "several legal hurdles."
"There are still several legal hurdles to be removed before the United States and India start civil nuclear cooperation, including a comprehensive agreement on technical elements of the bill, which again needs Congressional approval," it noted.
The report also pointed out that while the US legislation will enable India to get access to civilian nuclear fuel and technology, it will make it obligatory for New Delhi to allow the international community to scrutinise its atomic reactors.
The comments came two days after Xinhua, in a commentary on non-proliferation efforts in 2006, claimed that the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal smacked of "double-standards".