BEIJING: Amidst concern in India and the United States over a Chinese plan to build two 1000-MW nuclear reactors in Karachi, China defended its civilian nuclear cooperation with Pakistan, saying it was under “strict” international norms.

“Relevant cooperation is in strict accordance with the two countries’ international responsibility and is for peaceful aim. We also receive the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency,” spokesperson for Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, said. Both India and the US conveyed their objections to China’s move, saying that it violated the strict norms set by the 46-member Nuclear Suppliers Group.

The issue may also figure during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit here next week. China and Pakistan in principle were engaged in civilian energy cooperation in recent years, Hua said.

Recent reports said that two big reactors would be built in Karachi by China, with construction beginning as early as next month.–Online

There is no direct confirmation of the agreement to build the new plants.

However, China March this year indirectly confirmed reports of signing an agreement with Pakistan to build two 1000-megawatt plants amid allegations that the deal violated the NSG norms.

Both China and Pakistan have denied that the deal violates NSG norms, saying that it is for peaceful purposes and within the safeguards of nuclear watchdog IAEA.