In an earlier post on the China-Pakistan nuclear deal, I pointed out China’s argument that it’s reactor sale to Pakistan should be grandfathered in since it had pre-existing contracts with Pakistan before joining the NSG.
Mark Hibbs, indirectly but very clearly, pulls down this defense–and, in doing so, shows how even countries can get confused by what goes on in NSG meetings.
“China has pledged—and is expected—to abide by the NSG guidelines on the transfers of nuclear equipment, technology, and material…If China did seek to provide additional reactors to Pakistan, it would need NSG accommodation… We do not believe that the 45 member states of the NSG would agree to such an accommodation…”
During last month’s 2011 NSG plenary meeting, the NSG’s participating governments did not agree on whether China’s export to Pakistan should be permitted to be grandfathered. It wasn’t even close.
With all due consideration for Germany’s resolve to keep secret China’s statement from 2004, what gives? If China’s explanation was watertight and substantiated—and if Condi Rice was wrong—China’s assertion that the commerce with Pakistan should be grandfathered should have been compelling for all PGs at last month’s NSG annual meeting. But it wasn’t.