China Silently Nuclearizing South Asia - Commentary

Discussion in 'General Global Topics' started by akiboy, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. akiboy

    akiboy Member

    Mar 28, 2006
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    In 1999 this columnist put forward the theory of a "proxy nuclear state," a country that has had nuclear capability grafted onto it by an outside power. Thus far, China has developed two such states -- North Korea (to harry Japan) and Pakistan (to contain India). A third, Bangladesh, is well on the way, with Iran a likely candidate for a future in which tensions with the United States reach the 1950s level.

    China's warming strategic relationship with Russia has resulted in Moscow going along as the junior partner in what is shaping up to be a Sino-Russian partnership designed to constrain the United States, first in Asia and subsequently in Africa and South America.

    Although Beijing has been proliferating nuclear and missile technology since the 1980s, Washington has thus far contented itself with ritual expressions of concern, usually assuaged by yet another written or oral commitment from China to desist from actions that have lengthened the list of countries with access to military-use nuclear technologies. Indeed, investments in North Korea and Pakistan have paid off substantially for Beijing, diverting the attention of Japan and India to these states and away from China. As a bonus, the United States has stationed itself at the door of the arsonist, begging China's help to put out the very fire created by the presumed "solution."

    Myanmar has sent over 1,000 personnel for nuclear-related training in Russia, a flow accelerated by the May 15 Russo-Myanmar agreement to set up a Nuclear Research Center in Pyin-oo-Lwin and to provide a 10MW(t) light water research reactor in Ayela. Neither this nor the intensification of visits between North Korean and Myanmarese nuclear scientific and technical staff could have taken place without a nod from Beijing, which wields control over most members of the ruling junta in Yangon.

    Of those being trained in Russia, no fewer than 280 are full-fledged nuclear scientists, who are following in the path of their Pakistani counterparts in acquiring the capability to develop a nuclear device. In both Yangon and Mandalay "seismic centers" have been set up that are in effect operated by China, which may have uses other than earthquake forecasting.

    In next-door Bangladesh, already a jihadi haven, the Sino-Bangladesh nuclear cooperation agreement of April 2005 has opened the way for the training of hundreds of Bangladeshi technicians and nuclear scientists in China, several of whom are committed Wahabbis sympathetic to calls for an international jihad. As in Iran, the existence of substantial oil and gas deposits in Bangladesh makes developing the nuclear industry incomprehensible except for reasons other than energy security.

    Interestingly, while the U.S.-backed military junta in Dacca has thus far spurned Indian efforts at cooperation, several contracts have been signed with Chinese entities for developing hydrocarbon resources, including in the Rangmati and Bandarban areas. China is hoping to get India's consent to access Bangladesh once the Qinghai-Tibet rail line is extended to Kodari via Xigaze by 2012. It is therefore actively pursuing a charm offensive with political and media personalities in New Delhi, which includes emphatic denials of efforts to buttress local militaries unfriendly to India.

    Even while working on gifting Bangladesh and Myanmar with nuclear capabilities, China has been intensifying its nuclear and missile assistance to Pakistan. This has been met with near silence from the United States, which is instead giving priority to emasculating rival India's nuclear and missile program. Talks are under way on constructing four 300MW nuclear power plants in Pakistan, beside the ongoing work of expanding the second unit of the Chashma plant and the construction of a plutonium production reactor at Khushab. In addition, heavy water production there is being stepped up with Beijing's assistance.

    Chinese companies, including the China International Engineering Company, Southwest Aluminum Company and others, are active in supplying nuclear-class pipes, special metals and graphite to Pakistani entities. In particular, a new project for extracting plutonium from spent fuel rods is coming up with help from Pakistan's "all-weather" ally.

    As for launch vehicles, the latest installment of 30 so-called "Ghaznavi" missiles was received in February, beside help to the so-called "Shaheen" and "HATF" programs, all of which are based on Chinese technology. Even as the United States is repeatedly pointing at Iran, its own allies Pakistan and Bangladesh are hurtling toward nuclear strike capability, courtesy of China.
  2. M14 Shooter

    M14 Shooter The Light of Truth

    Sep 26, 2007
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    And they say we don't need a NMD.

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