In a major setback to recent Sino-India ties, the official Chinese media on Thursday criticised the Indo-US civilian deal, saying it smacked of "double-standards" in the global efforts to rein in nuclear proliferation.
"While many blame the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran for frustrating international efforts on nuclear non-proliferation, the double-standards adopted by some Western countries on nuclear issues could also be said to add to the problem, for their stance has undermined the authority of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)," the state-run Xinhua news agency said.
While these two states drew much criticism for running contrary to nuclear non-proliferation, the "double standards" on nuclear issues by some Western countries also fuelled worries among the international community over the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
In September, the annual conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) blocked a motion by some 20 countries - including 15 Arab nations - to call on Israel to give up its ambition of possessing nuclear weapons, and become a signatory to the NPT.
"The double standards are manifested in another case - India, a country which has detonated nuclear bombs but refused to sign the NPT," the agency noted.
It pointed out that US President George W Bush agreed in March 2006 on a nuclear civil cooperation deal under which New Delhi is allowed to buy foreign nuclear technology for the first time in 30 years.