China opposes nuclear legitimacy for India

China say vs China do

China has opposed changes to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty that seek to bring India, Pakistan and Israel into the fold of legitimacy.

“On principle, we oppose the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Our consistent position is for a comprehensive ban and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. The NPT and as well as the UNSC resolution 1172 should be our guiding principle,” Shen said. [Rediff]

Grand words. Noble intentions. But given its record on proliferation, it is difficult to take China seriously. As the Nuclear Control Institute chronicles so well, the gap between China’s words and deeds has never been small.

China is among the worst proliferators of nuclear weapons and delivery mechanisms, on a level that puts even A Q Khan to shame. Its clientele include such worthies as Kim Jong Il, Pervez Musharraf and Colonel Gaddafi – in other words, the very people who constitute the world’s nuclear nightmare.

The non-proliferation ayatollahs of the West and closet proliferators of the East end up making a mockery of the NPT. Keeping India out of the NPT is not going to convince India to give up nuclear weapons. Neither is it going to cause India to reverse its self-imposed policy of non-proliferation.

It is the NPT that needs to wake up to a new world order. China need not look for opportunities to play its role as a big power, it could demonstrate it by its own conduct.