China defends Pak nuclear coop

Beijing—China Thursday vowed to take its military ties with Pakistan to a new height and defended its nuclear cooperation with Islamabad to build two new reactors for the country.

A top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo said here that his country would work with Pakistan to promote a strategic cooperative partnership.”We should work together to deepen bilateral cooperation in defense security and other sectors,” Wu, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), said while meeting with Pakistani Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.Hailing the good-neighborly friendship between the two nations, Bangguo Wu said the bilateral all-weather friendship and all-round cooperation accorded with the fundamental interests of the two peoples and played an important role in safeguarding regional peace and promoting common development. Bangguo Wu also spoke highly of the fruitful exchanges and cooperation between the two armed forces. On this occasion, the Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visiting China said Pakistan was ready to seek stronger relationship with China. Terming the defence ties between the two countries as “all weather” the Chinese official said both Beijing and Islamabad had pledged to strengthen these ties at a meeting between the visiting Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and the Defence Minister Liang Guanglie.

Gen Kayani heading a high level Pakistani military delegation is currently on visit to China.

“Cooperation between the Chinese and Pakistani armed forces is exemplary and has been fruitful,” Liang said during the meeting.

The Minister also said that the two countries should make continuous efforts to boost their joint defence programmes. His remarks assume significance as Pakistan and China are collaborating in the manufacture of advanced fighter aircraft.As the two countries were holding military level talks a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang commenting on the US reaction on the deal, told reporters “China and Pakistan have maintained cooperation in recent years in the civilian use of nuclear energy.” “This cooperation is in line with our respective international obligations and totally for peaceful purposes and under the safeguards and supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” Qin said.The issue is likely to figure in Kayani’s talks with Chinese leaders. The Pakistan Army Chief’s visit comes ahead of the next week’s meeting of the NSG in New Zealand. Commenting on the US remarks Dai Xu, a Chinese military strategist said in state run Global Times that claim that China is helping Pakistan develop nuclear programmes was completely groundless. He claimed the US’ accusation was intended “to conceal the fact that both the US and India cooperate on pushing nuclear cooperation.

In Islamabad, the Foreign Office Spokesman said, Pakistan-China civilian nuclear cooperation is under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards and concerns, if any, are misplaced.

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