India will continue to engage China on NSG: govt

India will continue to engage China on NSG: govt

India will continue to engage China on NSG: govt
India will continue to seek China’s support to its bid to enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. She also reaffirmed that India would never sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but would continue its diplomatic efforts to enter the NSG – a cartel to govern the global nuclear commerce.

Sushma on Wednesday told the Lok Sabha that the NSG had not been able to decide on India’s plea during its annual plenary in Seoul last month, because China raised certain “procedural hurdles”.

She, however, added that notwithstanding China’s position against admission of India into the NSG, New Delhi would continue with its engagement with the communist country and try to obtain its support for securing the membership of the 48-nation cartel.

“Only because they (China) did not agree with us (on the NSG issue) once, it would not be appropriate to presume that they would never agree with us,” she said. The minister was replying to a supplementary query from Trinamool Congress MP Sugata Bose during the Question Hour.

Bose sought to know the steps being taken by the government for easing the strain in India-China relations in the aftermath of the fiasco over the NSG bid.

“Now the way in which the campaign to achieve NSG membership was carried out has resulted in strained diplomatic relations with our large Asian neighbour, China,” said Bose.

Sushma cited the instance of the opposition Congress not allowing the BJP government to get the Goods and Services Tax Bill passed by Parliament. She said just as the government would continue to discuss with the opposition party for resolving differences over the GST Bill, it would also keep on doing the same with China to seek support for India’s plea for membership of the NSG. “We are now discussing when India would become a member of the NSG, not whether India could ever enter the export control regime,” she said.

The minister said that the main “procedural hurdle” raised by Beijing to resist New Delhi’s bid for a berth in the NSG was related to India’s status as a “non-NPT country” (a country that did not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) and how the cartel could admit such a nation as a member.