WASHINGTON: - A prominent US lawmaker Thursday says he has received a letter from the State Department confirming that providing any new nuclear reactors by China to Pakistan is not allowed by the rules of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG), which governs international nuclear trade. In a statement released Thursday, Congresman Edward Markey, a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the founder and co-chairman of the House Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation, said the State Department's letter was in response to a list of detailed questions he sent about the possibility of a China-Pakistan nuclear deal to the Department on October 23, 2008. Markey, who has also strongly opposed US-India nuclear deal, said, "There is no doubt whatsoever that international nonproliferation rules bar China from providing Pakistan with new nuclear reactors. This is clear from a plain-language reading of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group Guidelines, and I am very pleased that the Bush Administration has agreed with this view." In his October 23rd letter to Secretary of State Rice, Markey pointed out that "the provision of new nuclear reactors to Pakistan would violate NSG guidelines." In its response, the Department of State agreed, writing that the proposed nuclear deal between China and Pakistan would "require consensus approval by the NSG for an exception to the Guidelines." The NSG was meeting Thursday in Vienna, Austria, to discuss new rules regarding uranium enrichment facilities. The possibility of a China-Pakistan nuclear deal was likely also be a subject of discussion. "China should not violate its international obligations by selling new nuclear reactors to Pakistan, Markey said. "The United States has clearly stated that such a sale would be against international nonproliferation rules, and I hope other countries stand up to deliver the same message. Pakistan is responsible for more nuclear proliferation than any other single country; nuclear cooperation is off the table."