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India needs to acknowledge that China's words have never matched its nuclear deeds with Pakistan
That China is poised to supply two additional nuclear reactors to Pakistan in violation of its international commitments, as reported in this newspaper yesterday, should not come as a surprise. What is more predictable, however, is the muted tone of Delhi's protests and its reluctance to fully acknowledge India's enduring nuclear contradictions with China. Beijing's nuclear cooperation with Pakistan began nearly four decades ago and has covered the full spectrum — including reactors, the production of nuclear weapons material, the transfer of a nuclear weapon design, and the supply of missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads as well the technology to produce them.
China's nuclear approach to Pakistan has not altered despite formal changes in Beijing's non-proliferation policy and its relations with India. When China embarked on nuclear weapon cooperation with Pakistan in the mid-1970s, its relations with India were frosty and Beijing was not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Beijing and Delhi now claim to have a strategic partnership. China is a signatory to the NPT and promises to abide by the international guidelines on nuclear commerce that prohibit atomic cooperation with Pakistan.