News



DATE=5/29/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232974
TITLE=CHINA / PAKISTAN (L-ONLY)
BYLINE=ROGER WILKISON
DATELINE=BEIJING
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

 INTRO:  CHINA HAS EXPRESSED DEEP REGRET OVER THE FIVE NUCLEAR 
TESTS BY  PAKISTAN, ITS LONG-TIME ALLY.  BUT, AS V-O-A'S ROGER 
WILKISON REPORTS FROM  BEIJING, CHINA IS BLAMING INDIA FOR 
INITIATING THE NUCLEAR RACE IN SOUTH ASIA AND IS REFUSING TO 
CONDEMN PAKISTAN.

TEXT:  SEVERAL HOURS AFTER PAKISTAN CONDUCTED ITS NUCLEAR TESTS 
THURSDAY,  CHINA FINALLY ISSUED AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT REGRETTING 
ISLAMABAD'S ACTION. THE FOREIGN MINISTRY SAID CHINA MAINTAINS ITS
OPPOSITION TO THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND FEELS 
UNEASY ABOUT THE NUCLEAR RACE  IN SOUTH ASIA.  IT CALLED ON INDIA
AND PAKISTAN TO ABANDON THEIR NUCLEAR  PROGRAMS TO AVOID FURTHER 
DESTABILIZING THE SITUATION ON THE SUB-CONTINENT.

BEFORE THE PAKISTANI TESTS WERE CARRIED OUT, CHINESE FOREIGN 
MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ZHU BANGZAO -- SPEAKING THROUGH AN 
INTERPRETER-- MADE CLEAR THAT BEIJING HOLDS INDIA RESPONSIBLE FOR
THE RISING NUCLEAR TENSIONS IN SOUTH ASIA.

         //INTERPRETER ACT//

 THE PRESENT SITUATION IN SOUTH ASIA IS SINGLE-HANDEDLY CAUSED BY
INDIA.   INDIA CONDUCTED NUCLEAR TESTS.  IT DISREGARDED THE 
STRONG OPPOSITION FROM THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND THREATENED
ITS NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES.  

          //END ACT//

BUT CHINA WILL NOT CONDEMN PAKISTAN FOR RESPONDING IN KIND TO THE
INDIAN  TESTS.  IT HAS REFUSED TO SIGN ON TO A UNITED NATIONS 
SECURITY COUNCIL DECLARATION DEPLORING PAKISTAN'S TESTS.  

BEIJING AND ISLAMABAD HAVE ENJOYED A CLOSE MILITARY AND 
DIPLOMATIC RELATIONSHIP FOR DECADES.  WESTERN DEFENSE ANALYSTS 
HAVE LONG SUSPECTED THAT CHINA PASSED NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY, 
INCLUDING A BLUEPRINT OF THE BOMB AND RING MAGNETS TO THE 
PAKISTANIS, BUT BOTH BEIJING AND ISLAMABAD HAVE STRENUOUSLY 
DENIED THE ALLEGATIONS.  U-S OFFICIALS HAVE SAID SUCH TRANSFERS 
DID OCCUR UNTIL ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO, WHEN CHINA MADE A PLEDGE TO 
WASHINGTON THAT IT WOULD END ITS NUCLEAR COOPERATION WITH 
PAKISTAN.

CHINESE OFFICIALS HAVE REFUSED TO SAY IN PUBLIC WHETHER BEIJING 
COUNSELLED PAKISTAN TO REFRAIN FROM TIT-FOR-TAT TESTING AFTER 
INDIA EXPLODED ITS FIVE DEVICES EARLIER THIS MONTH.  BUT 
DIPLOMATS IN THE CHINESE CAPITAL SAY WASHINGTON WAS TOLD THAT, 
AFTER A TELEPHONE CONVERSATION WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON,  PRESIDENT
JIANG ZEMIN ASKED THE PAKISTANIS NOT TO STAGE A NUCLEAR TEST.

A CHINESE DIPLOMAT SAYS HIS COUNTRY WILL NOT ABANDON PAKISTAN.  
THE  DIPLOMAT CONFIRMED THAT BEIJING HAS GIVEN ISLAMABAD 
ASSURANCES IT WILL NOT  PUNISH PAKISTAN FOR CONDUCTING ITS OWN 
NUCLEAR TESTS.  STILL, CHINA  -- ONCE ASIA'S ONLY NUCLEAR POWER 
-- NOW FINDS ITSELF FACING THE PROSPECT OF A NUCLEAR STANDOFF ON 
ITS DOORSTEP.  (SIGNED)

NEB/RW/GC/FC

29-May-98 5:04 AM EDT (0904 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.