Home Contact Us
Search :

Pakistan - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#3168, 24 June 2010
Sino-Pak N-deal: a Setback to India-China Ties?
M Shamsur Rabb Khan
email: samsur.khan@gmail.com

The report on the formalization of the China-Pakistan nuclear deal between China Nuclear Power Corporation and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, similar to the landmark nuclear agreement with Indo-US civil nuclear deal signed in 2008, has come as a setback to New Delhi in normalizing bilateral relations with China. As per the deal, China plans to build two nuclear reactors at the Chashma site in Pakistan. The first negative fall-out of such a deal would be the crack in deepening or improving the Sino-India relationship that saw some positive sings in recent times, more precisely since the climate change summit at Copenhagen in December 2009, where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Premier Wen Jiabao surprised the world with their coordination. The last month visit of the President Pratibha Patil to China, which India declared as successful and forward-looking, was a step in that direction. But in the face of a nuclear deal with Pakistan, New Delhi has conveyed its strong reservations to Beijing.

Given the long hostility against India, if Beijing formalizes the deal with Pakistan, New Delhi is left with no doubt about China’s intention to prefer nuclear engagement with Pakistan at the costs of its relations with India. More than that, India will not take it as a friendly gesture from China, if it goes ahead with creating a nuclear parity between India and Pakistan. It will stamp a belief in the country that all efforts by India to have closer ties with China will not alter Beijing’s ‘all-weather partnership with Pakistan’. Albeit China asserts that the nuclear deal between China and Pakistan is in line with each side’s international obligations and it is for peaceful purposes, it is in violation of the guidelines of the 46-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) that China joined in 2004. Even if the tangles of legality pave the way for such a deal, New Delhi’s concern is genuine due to the past record of clandestine military nuclear cooperation between China and Pakistan. At least, India would want an assurance that China is not expanding its clandestine collaboration with Pakistan under the guise of civilian cooperation.

It seems to be clear that China is taking a leaf out of Indo-US civil nuclear agreement in pushing forward a policy New Delhi would resent. China must understand there is no comparison between Indo-US civil nuclear agreement and Sino-Pakistan cooperation because of the fact that the former has to go through a long process of revising the NSG rules and the US domestic law. But China is trying to extend a similar benefit to Pakistan without any due legal process or international debate on the pros and cons on the issue. The two deals can also not be equated due to the huge difference in proliferation records of India and Pakistan. Given the widespread proliferation that resulted from the Pakistan-based AQ Khan network that handed out nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea, as well as continued concerns about the existence of terrorist networks in Pakistan that seek access to nuclear weapons technology; the Chinese decision to have a nuclear cooperation with Pakistan is shortsighted.

If China continues to play its strategic card by exposing India to two fronts of hostility, then India has every reason to counter such a deal. By all accounts, China’s move to seal a nuclear deal with Pakistan may take back Sino-India relations to square one, and all efforts, for example, frequent high-level interactions in 2009 and President Hu Jintao’s talks with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) or at Yekaterinburg, Russia, during Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) meet, or Wen Jiabao’s meeting with Manmohan Singh at the East Asia Summit in Thailand – all seem fruitless. Sino-Pak ties, on the other hand, are deepening through bilateral defence trade with China supplying its most advanced home-made combat aircraft, the third-generation J-10 fighter jets to Pakistan, besides decades of joint ventures including the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, the K-8 Karakorum advance training aircraft, and the Babur cruise missile.

After a long silence, the US has come out with a statement that it will raise objections to the proposed nuclear deal between China and Pakistan. According to the Obama administration, Beijing is going to violate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that forbids export of nuclear reactors to countries that have not signed the pact if it goes ahead with the deal. The State Department has asked Beijing to cooperate with Pakistan in ways consistent with Chinese non-proliferation obligations. In the ongoing meeting of the NSG (21-25 June, 2010), China will reportedly make a statement on its decision to supply two more nuclear reactors to Pakistan. India is set to offer concerns, by exposing the underlying flaws in China's argument in support of such a deal. But will the NSG agree to the Chinese arguments in maintaining a nuclear parity between India and Pakistan?

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary

D Suba Chandran
Across the Durand Line: Who is in Control Now? Will That Change?
Taliban Talks and the Four Horsemen: Between Peace and Apocalypse
Pakistan: Talks about Talks with the Taliban, Again
Dateline Islamabad

Salma Malik
Pakistan and TTP: Dialogue or Military Action?
The Musharraf Trial & Beyond

Dateline Kabul

Mariam Safi
Afghanistan, US and the Peace Process: A Deal with the Taliban in 2014?
Dhaka Discourse

Prof Delwar Hossain
Bangladesh: Domestic Politics and External Actors
Bangladesh Post Elections 2014: Redefining Domestic Politics?

Eagle Eye

Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
US in Asia: A 'Non-Alignment' Strategy?
Indo-US Strategic Partnership Post Khobragade: The Long Shadow
East Asia Compass

Dr Sandip Mishra
North Korean Peace Gestures and Inter-Korea Relations
Japan: Implications of Indiscriminate Assertiveness
China, Japan, Korea and the US: Region at Crossroads

Himalayan Frontier

Pramod Jaiswal
Chinese Inroads to Nepal
Constituent Assembly-II: Rifts Emerging
Nepal: The Crisis over Proportional Representation and the RPP Divide
Maritime Matters

Vijay Sakhuja
Increasing Maritime Competition: IORA, IONS, Milan and the Indian Ocean Networks
China in the Indian Ocean: Deep Sea Forays
Iran Navy: Developing Long Sea Legs

Middle Kingdom

DS Rajan
China in the Indian Ocean: Competing Priorities
China-Japan Friction: How can India Respond?
Nuke Street

Amb Sheelkant Sharma
Nuclear Security Summit 2014 and the NTI Index
Nuclear Power: An Annual Report Card

Red Affairs

Bibhu Prasad
Maoists in the Northeast: Reality and Myth-Making
Surrender of Gudsa Usendi: Ominous beginning for the Naxals?
South Asian Dialectic

PR Chari
Federalism: Centre as Coordinator and Adjudicator
Limits of Federalism

Spotlight West Asia

Amb Ranjit Gupta
Saudi Arabia-US Estrangement: Implications for the Indian Subcontinent
Syria Today: Is Regime Change the Answer?
The Arab World: Trying Times Ahead
Strategic Space

Manpreet Sethi
US, China and the South Asian Nuclear Construct
Responding to Pakistan’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: A Strategy for India

The Strategist

Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Strategic Non-Nuclear Weapons: An Essential Consort to a Doctrine of No First Use

OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee

Related Articles
Jabin T Jacob,
"Sino-Pak Nuclear Deal: American Perfidy?," 30 March 2011
Siddharth Ramana,
"Sino-Pak Nuclear Engagement-IV: What Can India Do?," 29 December 2010
Tanvi Kulkarni,
"Sino-Pak Nuclear Engagement -I: The Big ‘Deal’," 29 December 2010
Lydia Walker,
"Sino-Pak Nuclear Engagement-II: Where Does the US Stand?," 29 December 2010
Ruhee Neog,
"Sino-Pak Nuclear Engagement-III: Strategic Implications," 29 December 2010
Reshmi Kazi,
"Nuclear Forensics: A Tool for Deterring Terrorists?," 24 August 2010
Rabia Akhtar,
"Should India give up its NFU Doctrine?," 29 June 2010
Jasbir Rakhra,
"Nuclear Terrorism: overlooked at the NPT RevCon," 17 June 2010
Yogesh Joshi,
"Insights from the Indo – US Young Scholars Dialogue," 19 April 2010

Browse by Publications

Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Naxalite Violence 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
The Killing of Shahzad: Links between the al Qaeda and the Pakistan Navy in the Open?

India's Contentious 50 Most Wanted Terrorists List

WikiWrecks: 26/11 and US Intent

Two Summits; Conflicting Messages

David Headley’s Plea Bargain and India-US Relations

Tackling Maoist Terror

The Strategic Significance of Arihant

Enhancing the Credibility of CRPF

Role of Private Sector in Preventing Terror Attacks

Change Has Come to J&K

Aerial Security Against Terror Attacks

Hindu Terror: A More Serious Threat

Tackling Terror: Reforms, Not Stringent Laws, Necessary

NSG Waiver: What does it mean for India?

Will the Nuclear Deal Hurt India's Foreign Policy?

Elections in the Himalayan Kingdom: New Dawn of India-Bhutan Relations

Sagarika: A Feather in India's Defense Hat

Securing India's Coastline

Time to Revive India-Iran Relations

Indo-Israel Defence Cooperation: A Step in the Right Direction

Poor Policing and Weak Intelligence Gathering

Y! MyWeb
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2014
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August
 2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006
 2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999  1998

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map | IPCS Email
B 7/3 Lower Ground Floor, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi 110029, INDIA.
Tel: 91-11-4100 1900, 4165 2556, 4165 2557, 4165 2558, 4165 2559 Fax: (91-11) 41652560
© Copyright 2014, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.
        Web Design by http://www.indiainternets.com