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Home > News > PTI

NSG mulling options to relax nuke exports to India

September 06, 2007 17:28 IST

China, which has remained non-committal on the planned Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, on Thursday said the Nuclear Suppliers Group is mulling different options to relax nuclear exports to India.

"To relax nuclear exports to India, there are still some different ideas within the NSG based on abiding by relevant international obligations to conduct the cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu said when asked to comment on the nuclear deal.

The comments are seen as China easing perceived reservations over the deal, which must get the backing of the NSG.

The 45-member NSG will have to make India-specific amendments by a consensus to allow nuclear trade with New Delhi before the deal can be operationalised.

"We believe that the relevant countries, based on abiding by international obligations, can conduct cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy," Jiang said.

However, she emphasised that the cooperation in the nuclear field shall be conducive to the principles and maintain the effectiveness of international non-proliferation regime.

"Based on the principles, we are ready to have discussions," Jiang said.

Last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi had said that China is willing to cooperate with all countries on the peaceful use of nuclear energy within the IAEA safeguards.

Yang had made the comment during a meeting in Beijing [Images] last Friday when an India-China Eminent Persons Group when the members called on him.

China may be willing to explore the possibility of cooperation with India in the peaceful use of nuclear energy within the IAEA safeguards, similar to the Sino-Pakistani model, Zhai Dequan a senior scholar with a leading Chinese arms control and disarmament think-tank said this week.

"There is a possibility that China and India can cooperate in the peaceful use of nuclear energy only within the IAEA," Zhai, a senior research fellow of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association said, signalling that Beijing has apparently softened its stand on the issue.

However, a section of the official Chinese media has been commenting against the Indo-US civilian energy agreement, stressing that the deal will undermine global nuclear non-proliferation efforts.

Asked to comment on the first-ever India-US-Japan-Australia joint naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal, the spokesperson said: "Under the current world, China hopes countries can establish the new concept of development based on mutual benefit, mutual trust so as to realise common security and joint development based on the mutual trust and harmonious Asia Pacific, including the common interest of the countries concerned."

"China is a positive force to promote peace and stability and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. China is ready to make a joint effort with other countries the region to increase mutual trust, to increase cooperation. By cooperation we can realise win-win results," she added.

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