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The official said, “In the abstract, nuclear power at some point can be part of that mix; in the near to midterm, we are focused on nonnuclear sources of energy.”

The official said the United States is “willing to have a conversation about civilian nuclear power, but there is a lot that Pakistan is going to have to do, given its past record” - a reference to the covert nuclear supplier group led by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan that supplied nuclear bomb designs and material to Iran, Libya and Pakistan.

Henry Sokolski, director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, said it is not clear when and how the United States would open the door to nuclear exports to Pakistan.

“Is Washington blocking China so the Obama administration can be in control of the terms under which it will allow a Chinese sale to Pakistan?” Mr. Sokolski asked. “Or is it that only the United States wants to be the one making the reactor sale? I think it’s the former; the mystery is what we will ask for in exchange.”

In the hearing, Mr. Van Dieppen also said Chinese entities continue to sell arms to rogue states in violation of anti-arms-proliferation controls.

He said that while China has made some progress in establishing arms-export controls, Chinese companies continue to engage in dangerous sales to countries they should not.

“Our most persistent problem is that individual Chinese entities continue to engage in proliferation activities,” he said.