India's bid to enter NSG hits China wall

India's bid to enter NSG hits China wall

Prospects bleak despite US support

India's bid to enter NSG hits China wall

Strong backing from the United States may not be enough for India to get into the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG), as China has claimed support of other     nations in blocking the move.

Soon after Beijing indicated that it was not alone in opposing New Delhi’s bid to get a berth in the NSG, the US reiterated that India was in fact ready for a membership of the 48-nation cartel, which controls the global nuclear commerce.

“I’d point you back to what the President (US President Barack Obama) said during his visit to India in 2015, where he reaffirmed that the US view was that India meets Missile Technology Control Regime membership requirements and was ready for NSG membership,” the PTI quoted John Kirby, a spokesman of the US State Department, making the remarks to journalists in Washington.

His comment came just hours after Lu Kang, a spokesman of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told journalists in Beijing that several other members had shared China’s view that being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was an important requirement for a new member seeking admission to the bloc.

“Not only India, many other non-NPT members have voiced their aspirations to join the NSG,” said Lu, adding: “This poses a question for the international community. Many NSG members, China included, think that this matter shall be fully discussed and then decided by consensus among all NSG members in accordance with the protocols and procedure of the NSG.”

Beijing’s opposition came ahead of next month’s annual plenary of the group where “NSG’s relationship with India” is likely to be discussed.

NSG guidelines prohibit its members from entering into nuclear ties with countries that had not signed the NPT. Neither India nor Pakistan has signed the NPT. Washington, however, helped New Delhi secure a waiver from the NSG in 2008.

The waiver, given in form of a statement from the NSG, cleared the hurdle for the US-India nuclear cooperation.

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