CIA sees China, Pakistan N-link

Published November 15, 2003

WASHINGTON, Nov 14: The CIA says in a new report that it cannot rule out links between Chinese firms and Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme, despite Beijing’s assurances that it will provide no such help.

The Central Intelligence Agency also cautions that Chinese entities continued to work with Pakistan and Iran on ballistic-missile-related projects during the first six months of this year.

Washington has slapped sanctions on a long list of Chinese firms accused of links to nations, including Pakistan, North Korea and Iran. The unclassified report to Congress notes that Beijing promised Washington in May 1996 that it would not provide assistance to unsafeguarded nuclear facilities.

“We cannot rule out, however. Some continued contacts subsequent to the pledge between Chinese entities and entities associated with Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme,” the report says.

It notes that Beijing had taken some steps to educate individuals and firms on new missile-related export control regulations.

But it concludes that “Chinese entities continued to work with Pakistan and Iran on ballistic-missile-related projects during the first half of 2003.”—AFP

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