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China, a key supplier of nuke arms to Pak and Iran: US report

world Updated: Apr 18, 2012 02:12 IST

China has been a "key supplier" of nuclear arms and missile technologies to Pakistan and Iran, a US Congressional report said.

China has been a "key supplier" of technology, particularly PRC (Peoples Republic of China) entities providing nuclear and missile-related technology to Pakistan and missile-related technology to Iran, said a recent report of the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

The report 'China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issues' was prepared by CRS – an independent research wing of the US Congress – for its lawmakers. A copy of the report was obtained by PTI.

According to the report, the Bush Administration imposed sanctions on 20 occasions on various PRC "entities" (including state-owned entities) for troublesome transfers related to missiles and chemical weapons to Pakistan, Iran, or perhaps another country, including repeated sanctions on some "serial proliferators".

In its report, running into more than 80-pages, CRS says in 1996, US policymakers faced the issue of whether to impose sanctions on the PRC for technology transfers to Pakistan's nuclear program, and Beijing issued another nuclear non-proliferation pledge.

"Since then, the United States has maintained concerns—but at a lower level—about continued PRC nuclear cooperation with Pakistan, particularly involving the construction of nuclear power plants at Chashma," it said.

"The PRC government is believed to know about the nuclear cooperation with Pakistan.

"Nonetheless, in 2004, the Bush Administration supported China's application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), despite congressional concerns about China's failure to apply the NSG's 'full-scope safeguards' to its nuclear projects in Pakistan," teh report said.

Full-scope safeguards apply IAEA inspections to all other declared nuclear facilities in addition to the facility importing supplies in order to prevent diversions to weapon programs.