Indian membership bid: For NSG consensus, China says more talks needed

Published: June 13, 2016
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A surface-to-surface Agni V missile displayed during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, on January 26, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

A surface-to-surface Agni V missile displayed during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, on January 26, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING: China said on Sunday that more talks were needed to build a consensus on which countries can join the main group controlling access to sensitive nuclear technology, after a push by the United States to include India.

China is seen as leading opposition to the US move to include India in the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), but other countries, including New Zealand, Turkey, South Africa and Austria also oppose Indian membership, according to diplomats.

India’s membership in NSG ‘unmerited’: NYT editorial

The NSG aims to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons by restricting the sale of items that can be used to make those arms. India already enjoys most of the benefits of membership under a 2008 exemption to NSG rules granted to support its nuclear cooperation deal with Washington, even though India has developed atomic weapons and never signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the main global arms control pact.

‘Large differences’ remain over the issue of non-NPT countries joining the NSG, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in an online statement.

“With regard to what to do on the issue of non-NPT signatories joining (the NSG), China consistently supports having ample discussion on this to seek consensus and agreement and come to a unanimous decision,” Hong said. “The NPT is the political and legal basis for the entire international non-proliferation system,” Hong said, adding that China would support the group in further talks to come to a consensus at an early date.

Opponents argue that granting India membership would further undermine efforts to prevent proliferation. It would also infuriate India’s rival Pakistan, which responded to India’s membership bid with one of its own and has the backing of its close ally China.

Regional instability: ‘India’s nuclear build-up hurting South Asia’s stability’

A decision on Indian membership is not expected before an NSG plenary meeting in Seoul on June 20, but diplomats have said Washington has been pressuring hold-outs. Most of the hold-outs oppose the idea of admitting a non-NPT state such as India and argue that if it is to be admitted, it should be under criteria that apply equally to all states rather than under a ‘tailor-made’ solution for a US ally.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Greg
    Jun 13, 2016 - 8:22AM

    “China is seen as leading opposition to the US move…”

    Who exactly are they leading? Since when did NZ, SA, and Austria start looking for Chinese leadership? It’s more like china desperately trying to stall India’s entry w’out looking isolated.
    And isolated and desperate she is :).Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Jun 13, 2016 - 8:36AM

    A nation which joined NSG only in 2004 and till then was the main proliferator of nuclear technology is shouting through pitch of its voice …… who cares ……… :-))))Recommend

  • LOL
    Jun 13, 2016 - 10:36AM

    @Greg: your comment makes u look desperate. haahahahRecommend

  • jay
    Jun 13, 2016 - 11:15AM

    Who gave North Korea the nuke tech ? Pak( AQ KHAN) and China should never be allowed in NSG ! Recommend

  • BlackHat
    Jun 13, 2016 - 11:17AM

    Reading between the lines, “more talks” for “consensus” means China is open to negotiations! It doesn’t mean a categorical veto forever.

    International security architecture is not hewn out of stone. It changes with times and circumstances.

    Don’t take friendships between nations for granted or for that matter enmity.Recommend

  • Rajesh
    Jun 13, 2016 - 11:42AM

    Dragon & its allies has a history of proliferation of nuclear technology in the past & now they are preaching the world, great vendetta politics at its best. Practise what you preach not the other way round.Recommend

  • Realistic
    Jun 13, 2016 - 1:10PM

    @SKChadha:
    And who is moving the notion of including a state Like india (funny indeed) in NSG is the only one who actually Nuked a country in human history. so better keep morals aside..Recommend

  • Raju
    Jun 13, 2016 - 3:18PM

    Pakistan is a basket case for NSG membership with flagrant violations of illegal and immoral nuclear trade. First, to steal it itself from foreign countries and then to give it to rogue countries like N. Korea!! NSG is created precisely to prevent behavior such as this. Like all other aspects, India is not even in the same book as Paksitan, let alone the page….Recommend

  • Atheist
    Jun 13, 2016 - 3:39PM

    @Realistic: China is ready for talks that the early omen for consensus.India may go Russian route to convince China.You never know Indian diplomacy.Recommend

  • Shahid
    Jun 14, 2016 - 10:24AM

    Indian membership to NSG seriously needs to be reviewed as it will be a disaster for international nonproliferation regimes. It will give reason to every state to behave like a spoiled child that is India. Firstly by diverting peaceful nuclear supplies to make a nuclear bomb. Secondly by expanding the covert nuclear program to make more dangerous bombs to threat global strategic stability.Recommend

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