Washington Post got hold of a report last year written by Abdul Qadeer Khan in 2004 after he was arrested for illegal nuclear trade, the creator of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program writing; “In 1982, a Pakistani cargo aircraft of the type C-130 Hercules took off from the western Chinese city Urumqi with enough enriched uranium for two nuclear bombs.”
The transport of uranium in 5 boxes of stainless steel was a part of a nuclear agreement that was approved several years by Mao Zedong (the leader of China) and Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Khan was working as a metallurgist in a Dutch centrifuge manufacturer but two years earlier India had tested their first atomic bomb and this provoked Khan making him offer his services to Bhutto.
US officials have said that they knew about the transmission in decades and had also confronted the Chinese in private with the case, but they denied. After this, the Americans never brought up the subject again or to put some form of sanctions either. The only worry USA had was that Khan would share this with Iran but Libya confirmed in 2003 that they had received the recipe from Khan’s secret network. According to what Khan stated in the report, the cargo came together with a recipe for a simple nuclear weapon that China already had tried out. It was a “make-it-yourself” recipe for the world’s most dangerous and feared bomb.
Although, the US officials say that the Chinese government are much more aware of the dangers, China has own their side shown less enthusiasm than the US to impose sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear program. Even though Chinese officials denied for the past 25 years that they have helped some countries to acquire nuclear weapon, Khan’s report states that they in fact have, said a former US official.
When the American government was asked why they confronted China with which such transfer, the spokesman Philip Crowley said; “United States has worked intensively and made progress together with China over the past 25 years.” When he was asked “what was done during the Reagan administration”, he answered; “I cannot answer.”
Khan wrote in his report; “Instead the West stood as spectators to a country in the third world that had barely been able to produce bicycle chains, mastering the most advanced nuclear technology in a short time.”