SEOUL: China maintains its opposition to India joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), said the head of the arms control department in China’s Foreign Ministry.
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.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the issue at a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a regional summit in Tashkent, on Thursday, but there was no breakthrough. A diplomat at the meeting said the group’s outgoing chairman, Rafael Grossi, would continue to act as a “facilitator” to finalise the deal.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 25th, 2016.