India Fails to Get NSG Membership
India’s bid to enter an elite atomic trading club hit a stumbling block as China opposed its inclusion.
Forty-seven of 48 members supported New Delhi’s application at the group’s special plenary session in Seoul on Thursday. However, strong China-led opposition at the Seoul meeting on Friday swayed the decision against Indian request.
“Today, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) reaffirmed its strong support for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by refraining from admitting India,” Democratic Senator Edward Markey from Massachusetts said in a statement.
The NSG met this week in Seoul, but China said it would not bend the rules and allow India membership, as it had not signed the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“Applicant countries must be signatories of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT),” Wang Qun, the head of arms control department in China’s Foreign Ministry, was quoted as saying in Seoul on Thursday night.
“This is a pillar, not something that China set. It is universally recognised by the international community,” Wang said according to a statement released by the Chinese foreign ministry on Friday. China is leading opposition to a push by the United States to bring India into the NSG. The issue of India’s membership was not formally discussed at the NSG meeting this week, Wang said on Friday.
Wang stressed China considered it is important to handle new memberships under a consensus and that there was no move yet to allow a non-NPT state to join.
The NSG was founded in response to India’s 1974 nuclear test and it has worked for decades to prevent the sharing of technology that could contribute to the further spread of nuclear weapons, he said on Friday.
Earlier Thursday afternoon, PM Narendra Modi delivered a candid message to Chinese President Xi Jinping who he met for a bilateral discussion on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Tashkent. Sources said Modi conveyed to Xi New Delhi’s expectation that China would support India in its NSG membership bid, a position that suggests that continued opposition will impact ties.
The 45-minute Modi-Xi meeting was almost entirely devoted to the NSG issue and China’s opposition. A readout of the meeting was given by official spokesperson Vikas Swarup who said, “PM Modi urged China to make a fair and objective assessment of India’s application and judge it on its own merit. He said China should contribute to the emerging consensus in Seoul.”
Courtesy: The Express Tribune