Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

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Archive for the ‘NSG’ Category

NSG To Take Up China-Pakistan Nuke Deal at Christchurch

Posted by K.E. White on June 22, 2010

The Times of India points out a crucial difference between China’s planned nuclear deal with Pakistan and the US-India nuclear deal:

In Christchurch, above, the NSG will meet and discuss the China-Pakistan nuclear deal.

On the basis of previous Chinese statements, the United States is expected to argue that the supply of additional power reactors would not be grandfathered. In that sense, the Christchurch meeting will demonstrate how far China is prepared to abide by its commitments to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the NSG guidelines.

The Indian example is not a precedent since India’s exemption had to go through the US legislative scrutiny and the NSG exemption. Pakistan cannot compare its non-proliferation record with that of India. The exoneration of A Q Khan by the judiciary of charges of unauthorized nuclear trade clearly implies that Pakistani proliferation had the approval of successive governments in Islamabad. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is still to get access to Khan. The proliferation, Iran being uppermost in international concern, started with a Pakistani deal with that country.

Stuff.co.nz—offering an excellent recap–suggests China will probably get its way:

The Times of India newspaper reported that the growing “clout” of China internationally meant there had been a lot of grumbling, “but little outright opposition” to the Pakistan proposal, though France was likely to raise objections at the New Zealand meeting.

It said the row could also spell trouble for India’s ambition to become a full member of the NSG, as there was a “growing anger, albeit impotent” within the group over the Chinese move.

China was unlikely to ask for a full waiver for the Pakistan proposal from the NSG but push it through “under a kind of diplomatic amnesia because there is a paper trail that says only two reactors in Pakistan had been `grandfathered’ by China”, the paper said.

Finally, Zia Mian and Daryl G. Kimball urge NSG members to resist endorsing China’s nuclear deal.

Posted in NSG | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

US-India Nuclear Deal Derailed and Threatening India’s UPA Government?

Posted by K.E. White on September 25, 2007

The Asia Times Online reports on the imperiled nuclear deal, and how it might just take down Prime Minister Manmohan Singh:

A speeded-up negotiation process with the IAEA and the NSG is likely to muddy the waters of the UPA-left talks and might lead to their collapse. The Communist Party of India recently warned that if the government held talks with the IAEA on a safeguards agreement at its general conference in Vienna, the CPI would regard it as a “breach of trust”.

Indian Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar did address the IAEA meeting last week, but refrained from making a specific mention of the US-India nuclear deal during his speech. However, he held informal consultations with IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei and nuclear officials from different countries.

It is uncertain, however, if the deal will sail smoothly through the IAEA, and especially the NSG.

Although the IAEA bureaucracy, and ElBaradei in particular, is sympathetic to the deal, the agency’s board of governors may not be unanimous in conceding India’s demand for a special safeguards protocol, which limits inspections on Indian facilities to the period during which they receive imported supplies. Typically, the IAEA demands safeguards in perpetuity.

Reuters reports on an October deadline for Singh’s government to approve the deal, lest new elections are to be called:

India’s government and its communist allies are eyeing ways out of their face-off over a nuclear pact with the United States, but failure to grasp these straws will spark a fresh crisis next month, officials said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s coalition faces an informal end-October deadline to start working on the next steps needed to clinch the deal, and if the row with left parties opposed to it is not resolved by then early polls may be called, they said.

Singh does not need to have the Indian parliament approve the deal, but he risks forcing elections if he does not get his Communist allies on board with the deal. Will Singh get an agreement from the left, or will he risk snap elections which could not only shoot down the deal but take him out of a job?

And just in case you were wondering, the US-India nuclear deal is a top priority of the fading Bush administration. From Condoleezza Rice’s interview with Reuters:

“I am not worried about my legacy. With 14 months to go, I’m worrying about what we’ve yet achieved on the Palestinian-Israeli track, the North Korean nuclear issue, the India civil-nuclear deal and trade agreements. We have got a big agenda,” Rice told Reuters Editorial Board in an interview, text of which was released by the State Department.

Let’s have a little score-card:

Israel-Palestine peace process = fat chance

North Korea Nuclear Crisis = contained after years of botched policy, but also greatly intractable

Trade Agreements = Democrats run Congress

US-India Nuclear Deal = no means a sure bet

But it is nice to here that Iraq isn’t dominating Rice’s agenda; there are other issues that could use a year of smart policy.

Posted in Condoleezza Rice, IAEA, India Nuclear Deal, Monmohan Singh, NSG, Nuclear | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Diplomatic Update: Japan Nudges Closer to Nuclear Deal Approval

Posted by K.E. White on August 21, 2007

Japan seems ready to approve the US-India nuclear deal, and for much the same reason as America: the desire for a counter-weight to China.

From the Business Standard:

Japan today indicated that it would play a “positive role” at the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers’ Group) to help India’s case for getting crucial supplies for its nuclear plants – which is the next step in augmenting the civil nuclear deal with the United States.
A senior official from prime minister’s office who briefed media persons on the visit of the Shinzo Abe said that “Japan would play a positive role in discussions at the NSG (when India goes there to seek clearance from all the NSG members for fuel supplies).”
The spokesman for Abe said that, “Japan understands the importance of nuclear energy for India and also India’s deep interest in securing fuel supplies for its plants,” Besides, he said, Japan also realizes that “how important this (India’s getting nuclear fuel) was for (arresting) the global climate change.”

And from The Age:

WHEN Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan touches down in India this week, it will be the highest-level step yet in an effort to balance, if not contain, China’s growing economic and political might.

As Beijing’s influence in Asia and around the world has grown, common interests have forced Tokyo and Delhi to warm up their historically chilly relationship and to forge closer economic ties.

Posted in Abe, India, Japan, NSG, Singh, U.S. India Nuclear Deal | 1 Comment »

Proliferation News Alert: Critical Chinese Hurdle Cleared by US-India Nuclear Deal?

Posted by K.E. White on August 7, 2007

Summary: China appears to give green-light to US-India nuclear deal, an agreement that gives India–a nation that has not joined the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty–unprecedented access to nuclear technology from the United States. Chinese approval suggests the deal will be approved by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, an international body that regulates international nuclear trade. The recently renegotiated deal must still be re-authorized by the United States Congress.

The Press Trust of India reports on cooling Chinese opposition to the US-India nuclear deal. When asked about the deal, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jiancho responded:

“It is hoped that the international community can explore and properly handle the issue [the US-India nuclear deal] by creative thinking,” Liu said, indicating a significant change of stance.

This is an apparent shift from earlier reads on the Chinese position regarding the US-India nuclear deal. From The Tribune:

China is not happy with the nuclear deal which gives India a de facto nuclear power status. Beijing has so far not disclosed what stance it is going to take when the 45-nation NSG meets to discuss a special waiver for India to allow New Delhi nuclear commerce with the world.

According to voices emanating from Beijing, the Chinese position on the Indo-US nuclear deal has two broad points. One, India should first sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) before it can reap the fruits of the nuclear deal. Two, the nuke deal would alter the strategic balance in the region and fuel an arms race.

The Press Trust article includes more from Liu Jiancho:

“China believes that countries can develop the cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy abiding by their respective international obligations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jiancho said.

“At the same time, relevant cooperation shall be conducive to the maintenance and strengthening of the effectiveness of international nuclear non-proliferation principles,” Liu told PTI here when asked to comment on the recent agreement between India and the US on nuclear deal.

With the Bush administration pushing for a NSG meeting by the year’s end, 2008 may just be the year the long-stalled US-India Nuclear Deal comes into force.

Posted in China, India, Liu Jiancho, NPT, NSG, Nuclear Deal, Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Nuclear Suppliers Group, Security Studies, U.S. India Nuclear Deal, United States | Leave a Comment »

The India Nuclear Deal: On Life Support or Creeping Steadily Towards Success?

Posted by K.E. White on August 5, 2007

The Bush administration backed US-India Nuclear deal has been a diplomatic rollercoaster. On March 6th, 2006 President Bush announced the US India nuclear deal and pushed Congress to pass the legislation last summer, to only see the deal stalled owing to Indian objections. Now in the twilight of his presidency, the President is pushing for its approval.

But can a now unpopular, lame duck President seal this controversial deal?

Congress passed last summer a bundle of legislative changes allowing America cooperate with India on nuclear issues. While the changes do not amount to an official recognition of India’s non-NPT sanctioned nuclear weapons program, it gives it de facto recognition.

Bush has now unveiled a slightly reworked deal with India, forcing Congress to reconsider the matter—but with one critical change: Democrats now control Congress.

Advocates of the deal point to its realism—it deals with India’s status as a nuclear power—and hope it will foster a strong partnership between two strong democracies.

But critics view the plan as rewarding India for bad behavior, thereby encouraging other countries to develop nuclear weapons. Critics also point to an apparent double-standard: America is encouraging India’s reprocessing facilities while demanding Iran—who claims to be merely developing its civilian nuclear power—stop all nuclear repossessing.

So what’s next for this proposal? Under Secretary of State R. Nicolas Burns lays out the future hurdles succinctly in this recent interview with the CFR:

Two things have to happen before it goes back for a final vote in Congress. First, India has to conclude a safeguards agreement with the IAEA, which I expect will happen in the next thirty to thirty-five days. Secondly, the Indians will need to convince the nuclear suppliers group—this is the group of forty-five nuclear energy powers in the world—that it should give the same kind of international treatment in terms of civil nuclear trade to India that the United States would have just given bilaterally. Once those two steps are taken, then perhaps by November or December we’ll be ready to formally send this agreement to Capitol Hill for a final vote. We hope that vote will mirror the Hyde Act vote which was, of course, an overwhelming vote in favor of India and the United States by Congress.

In India the BJP opposition party has come out against the new deal. While not able to stop Indian approval, the BJP resistance could sap public support for the deal. The Hindustan Times reports on the party’s objections:

The inspections that India would be subject to and the conditions imposed on it under the agreement would be equivalent to those applicable to non-nuclear weapons nations, both he and Shourie stated. For these reasons, the BJP had consistently opposed the deal and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had expressed his reservations on the issue even in 2005 with regard to its impact on India’s strategic nuclear programme, they added.

Expressing BJP’s objections to the provisions of the agreement, they said since each party was required to implement the agreement in accordance with its national laws and regulations, there was no doubt that India would be governed by the provisions of the Hyde Act of 2006 and the US Atomic Energy Act, 1954.

Sinha found US commitment on fuel supplies “vague and futuristic”. Besides, as the US would, under the provisions of the deal, retain the right of end-use verification of all its supplies, it would ensure that American inspectors would roam around all Indian nuclear installations, he felt.

And the NGS negotiations may hit a Beijing road block. Ravni gives a good backdrop the coming negotiations, painting China as the critical player:

India has already received broad support from Russia, Britain and France. India’s cooperation and growing engagement with Brazil and South Africa under the IBSA framework has also lead these countries to support India’s use of civilian nuclear technology. Australia [Note: Australia previously opposed to deal], too, seems to have veered around to supporting India’s right to civilian nuclear technology. In the past the NSG has always worked on a consensus and Indian interlocutors will hope to achieve this consensus in their favour. Here the position taken by China will be of great importance to India.

DNA views China as opposing the deal:

China has emerged as a source of concern as India begins the next stage of negotiations for implementation of the nuclear deal. According to a senior official who spoke on condition of anonymity, the government is disturbed by reports of a quiet Chinese effort to block India’s bid for an unconditional waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for participation in international nuclear trade.

All this seems to only lead to the same murky conclusion: The fate of the US-India nuclear deal, clouded in doubt for over a year, is still uncertain.

Posted in Bush administration, Council on Foreign Relations, India, Nicolas Burns, NPT, NSG, Nuclear Deal, U.S. India Nuclear Deal | Leave a Comment »