China's record criticized as Congress reviews 30-year agreement on nuclear cooperation

IndustriesAssociated Press

China's record on nuclear proliferation faces congressional criticism as the Obama administration seeks renewal of a 30-year agreement allowing American involvement in the Asian nation's fast-growing atomic energy industry.

It's a different beast and far less contentious than the nuclear deal between Iran and the U.S. and other world powers aimed at preventing Tehran from acquiring atomic weapons. China has had the bomb for 50 years and has a stockpile of perhaps 250 weapons.

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This agreement facilitates the transfer of U.S. technology for civilian use. Blocking it could complicate already tense U.S.-China relations as President Barack Obama prepares to host Chinese leader Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) at the White House in September.

U.S. lawmakers complain China is failing to stop proliferation of sensitive military technology to Iran and North Korea.