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N-deal: China remains non-committal

August 26, 2008 16:44 IST
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With India and the US rewording the draft waiver ahead of the NSG meet in September, China, a key member of the 45-nation grouping, on Tuesday remained non-committal on supporting the nuclear deal between the two countries but said it backed "peaceful" use of atomic energy by all nations.

However, Beijing harped that any arrangement should be conducive for maintaining the "integrity and effectiveness" of international non-proliferation regime.

"China believes all countries, while adhering to their international obligations of nuclear non-proliferation, have the right of peaceful use of nuclear energy and to carry out international cooperation in this regard," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters in Beijing.

"Meanwhile, relevant cooperation should be conducive to the integrity and effectiveness of maintaining the international non-proliferation regime," Qin said when asked to comment on Beijing's stance at the recent IAEA and NSG sessions on the Indo-US nuclear deal in Vienna.

China had not opposed the India-specific safeguards agreement at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on August 1. Following that, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had sent Prithviraj Chavan, Minister of State in PM's Office, to Beijing as his envoy to lobby support the deal at the NSG.

However, China remained non-committal.

Recently, National Security Adviser M K Narayanan said that India was hopeful that there will be no trouble from China in the NSG, from which New Delhi is seeking a waiver needed for the implementation of the civil nuclear deal.

The NSG meet on August 21-22 to consider whether to allow India to conduct civil nuclear trade ended inconclusively and the grouping is to meet again early next month to take a final decision.

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