Why China can never be trusted

You can trust a snake, but not China, is a well known adage.  China has always been hostile towards India and opted for a dual faced diplomacy.  It has used Pakistan to clandestinely supply weapons and nuclear technology.  In spite of signing the NPT treaty, China is one of the world’s worst proliferator when it comes to nuclear technology.  Its track record of selling nuclear technology to North Korea, Libya is well know.  Pakistan is known to buy weapons from China, paint it green and give it a muslim name and pass it off as authentic production from its own factories.

So, its least surprising to know that inspite of the assurances given by Chinese President Hu Jintao to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on their previous meeting, China used the non-proliferation supporters (Ireland, New Zealand, Netherlands etc) to torpedo the NSG waiver to India. It was only after a personal call from George Bush to Hu Jintao and his typical “My way or the highway” straight talk that the Chinese relented.

Under criticism from India on the nuclear waiver, China is on the defensive for its role at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting in Vienna. But the visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi has denied that China tried to sabotage India’s chances at getting the NSG waiver.

India has reportedly registered its strong disappointment with Yang over the country’s role at the NSG meeting in Vienna.  Chinese President Hu Jintao had assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that Beijing would do nothing to spoil India’s chances at the NSG.

But at the NSG, China relented only after a phone call from US President George W Bush, apparently disregarding India’s own missives in that regard. China, which had earlier given to India signals of positive cooperation in the NSG came out openly with reservations at the Vienna NSG meet last week joining some ‘hold out’ countries virtually threatening to stall the move for NSG waiver to New Delhi.

The Chinese Ambassador in Delhi was reportedly summoned to the External Affiars Ministry in the early on Saturday to convey the Indian government’s unhappiness over Beijing’s role. In Monday’s statement, China welcomed the NSG granting a waiver but hoped this cooperation should be “conducive” to safeguarding the global nuclear non-proliferation efforts.

“China hopes that the decision will contribute to peaceful use of nuclear energy and international cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation,” the statement said.

Beijing’s statement is being seen as a move to assuage New Delhi which has conveyed its unhappiness over the Chinese position at the NSG meet. The tough negotiations in Vienna went down to the wire after China, which had sounded positive in the run-up to the NSG  meeting, took a different line creating problems for a consensus on the waiver.

Full news report here.