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China says never engaged in nuclear proliferation

Source: PTI
September 23, 2009 01:41 IST
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China, one of the five recognised nuclear powers, on Tuesday said it has never engaged in proliferation, days after Pakistan's disgraced scientist A Q Khan claimed his country had helped it in enrichment technology in return for atomic bomb blue-prints.

China is firmly opposed to the proliferation of nuclear weapons in whatever forms, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said in Beijing when asked to comment on Khan's latest revelation that Pakistan supplied nuclear know-how to its "all weather" ally.

"As a member of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, China has always strictly abided by its international obligation on the non-proliferation issue," she was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

74-year-old Khan, considered father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, had revealed that his country helped China in enrichment technology in return for bomb blue-prints.

Britain's 'Sunday Times', quoting a four-page 'secret' letter from Khan addressed to his Dutch wife Henny, had said that the first customer for one of Pakistan's enrichment plants was China which itself had supplied Pakistan with enough highly enriched uranium for two nuclear bombs in the summer of 1982.

"We put up a centrifuge plant at Hanzhong (250 kms southwest of Xian)," Khan's letter said. "The Chinese gave us drawings of the nuclear weapon, gave us 50kg of enriched uranium, gave us 10 tonnes of UF6 (natural) and 5 tonnes of UF6 (3 per cent)," it went on.

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