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An ' N- during' partnership that has kept India on its toes.

AFTER defeating India in the border war of 1962, the Chinese have adopted a policy of not confronting it directly. Instead China has invested in Pakistan to keep India in check.

The Chinese have understood the Pakistani elite's primal fear of India and so this policy has worked brilliantly.

Where the whole world has turned upside down since the 1960s, the Sino- Pak friendship endures, and indeed flourishes.

But the story of the manner in which Beijing has undermined Indian security is a dark and dangerous one. In 1982, China's Premier Deng Xiaoping himself authorised the transfer of nuclear weapon technology to Pakistan.

The transfers included blueprints for the ultrasimple CHIC- 4 nuclear bomb design using highly enriched uranium, first tested by China in 1966.

Worse, China actually tested a Pakistani- made bomb of the CHIC- 4 design at its own test range in Xinjiang on May 26, 1990. This is not some spy- fantasy tale, but one which has been documented by Thomas C. Reed and Danny Stillman in their The Nuclear Express , which was published last year. The information was made available to Stillman, a forensic nuclear physicist who had been invited by the Chinese authorities to tour their nuclear facilities.

This supreme act of proliferation is remarkable because in no instance in the history of nuclear weapons have countries -- even close allies -- shared design secrets of nuclear weapons. The Manhattan Project may have had an essential British component, but the US kept Britain out of its thermonuclear weapons project. The consequences of this were evident when the American nuclear inspectors found a manual for making the Chinese- designed weapon in Libya inside a plastic bag stamped with the logo of A. Q. Khan's Islamabad tailor.

Nuclear weapons are just one aspect of the situation.

The Chinese have been the principal suppliers of missiles and missile technology to Pakistan as well. It began in the early 1990s with the supply of M- 11 short- range missiles, followed by the transfer of technology for the M- 9 which has led to the Shaheen series of missiles.

There should be no doubt in Indian minds that China will ensure that Islamabad does not in any way fall behind India in its strategic programmes.

The next item to watch out for is a nuclear- propelled submarine which China may be seen " leasing" to Pakistan because, they will say, Russia has leased such a sub to India.

US nuclear inspectors stumbled upon irrefutable evidence of proliferation when they found a manual for making a Chinese- designed weapon in Libya inside a plastic bag stamped with the logo of A. Q. Khan's Islamabad tailor

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Jun 22, 2010
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