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‘Some people don’t want India to catch up with China’

The short question is — does India want to end the nuclear isolation that we find ourselves in since 1974, more so since 1998?

The short question is — does India want to end the nuclear isolation that we find ourselves in since 1974, more so since 1998? In this connection, I want to share with this House what China is doing. China’s electricity today is produced, 80 per cent from coal and 18 per cent from hydro power. Two per cent of China’s electricity comes from nuclear power.

Mainland China has 11 nuclear power reactors in commercial operation. Six are under construction and several more are about to start construction. Additional reactors are planned including some of the world’s most advanced to give a six-fold increase in nuclear capacity, to at least 50,000 megawatts by 2020 and then — this is important — a further three to four fold increase to 1,20,000 to 1,60,000 megawatts of electricity by 2030.

Moves to build nuclear power in China commenced in 1970 and the industry has now moved towards a steady development phase. The latest technology acquisition has been from the US and France. There are some people in this country who do not want India to catch up with China, who do not want India to go ahead of China. There are some people who want China to become an economic super power but want that India should never become an economic super power.

The BJP and the NDA seem to agree that we should end our nuclear isolation. The NDA has no problem with a strategic relationship with the US. The Left parties are ideologically opposed to any partnership — strategic or otherwise — with the US. Yet the two groups are voting together against this motion of confidence.

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The NDA believes, as I listen to them, that India should become a nuclear weapon state, whereas the Left parties have always been opposed to nuclear weaponisation. Yet the two groups are voting together against this motion of confidence.

The NDA says that if it comes to power, God forbid, it will renegotiate the agreement. The Left parties say that they will do everything possible to scuttle the agreement now and forever. Yet the two groups are voting together against this motion of confidence.

First published on: 24-07-2008 at 02:50:14 am
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