China, widely viewed as the main international opponent to the civil nuclear deal between India and the United States, said on Friday it has been cautious in commenting on the issue because of concerns that the agreement would reduce the effectiveness of the international non-proliferation regime.
“So far we have been very cautious about making an official statement on the Indo-US deal,” said Sun Yuxi, China’s ambassador to India. “When we touch this issue, our concern is about the effectiveness of the international non-proliferation regime,” he told a group of women journalists who would shortly visit China.
“We want cooperation between India and the US to strengthen the non-proliferation regime,” Sun added. His comments are among the first from the Chinese side after India and the US agreed on a text for the 123 Agreement. Earlier, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao had said despite perceived differences over the deal, the two countries don’t pose a threat to each other.
Asked whether India had sought China’s support at the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Sun said there had been no official discussions on the issue but that the Indians had spoken to the Chinese privately. China is widely perceived as the country most likely to hamper India’s request for an unconditional waiver at the 45-nation NSG, which New Delhi requires to resume trading in civilian nuclear technology and fuel.