A Q Khan, China and the truth

Bidirectional proliferation

Please don’t yawn. Savour the details. The Centrifugist revealed his side of the story to Simon Henderson. The latter’s article in The Sunday Times should put paid to the “Khan’s was a rogue operation” farce. It also tells the story of how China and Pakistan helped each other in nuclear technology.

(Khan’s) team was also the recipient of a gift from China of a design for an atomic bomb and enough highly enriched uranium for two devices, after Beijing decided to back Khan to jump-start Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. I remember being told about China’s nuclear generosity by an outraged British official in the 1980s. I later asked what Beijing had received in return. It was an enrichment plant.

The plant is at Hanzhong in central China. C-130 Hercules transports of the Pakistan air force made more than 100 flights to China carrying centrifuge equipment. Beijing needed the plant, not for bombs but to fuel its nuclear power plants. Centrifuge technology is good for both levels of enrichment, hence the current concern that Iran’s nascent plant at Natanz has a military purpose. China could not make the Pakistan-supplied centrifuges work properly, so replaced them with Russian centrifuges. What happened to the Pakistani centrifuges? A good question. They were not returned to Pakistan. Could they have ended up in Iran?

…Musharraf said Khan had shipped examples of centrifuges to North Korea. Correct, but with the connivance and at the instruction of the Pakistan military. [Times]

(linkthanks: the indefatigable Swami Iyer)

4 thoughts on “A Q Khan, China and the truth”

  1. BOK,

    We can’t take that to be true. He and Gen Beg are alleged to have had a little racket going to sell the stuff to Iranians, without Gen Zia’s knowledge. So getting rid of Zia and blaming a Shia pilot is a convenient cover story.

    In any event, could the Pakistani army’s intelligence folks have been so dumb as to (a) not know that the pilot harboured such thoughts and (b) was allowed to fly Zia?

  2. The Khan Atomic Bazaar is the stupidest story served by free western media. That something so dark can happen in Pakistan without the ISI or US having knowledge of it is the most preposterous thing for anyone to say. Yet these guys managed it.

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