US objects to China-Pakistan nuclear deal. Hypocritical?
The Obama administration objects to China selling nuclear reactors to Pakistan, which has never signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But the US sealed a similar deal with India.
Pakistan Inter Services Public Relations/AP
China wants to sell two nuclear reactors to Pakistan. The Obama administration thinks that’s a bad idea – but how to oppose that plan while dodging charges of hypocrisy, given the administration only last year sealed a US deal to supply India with civilian nuclear equipment? And how to press to halt the intended sale while preserving relations with two crucial partners, China and Pakistan?
The US will argue – somewhat uncomfortably, given the US-India deal – that the proposed sale to Pakistan violates the international body’s standards. China is expected to counter that what would be a lucrative deal for one of its state-owned companies should be “grandfathered” because the two reactors are part of a deal that actually predates China’s 2004 membership in the NSG, which monitors nuclear transactions.
Administration officials this week tried to put diplomatic dressing on US opposition to the sale.