Insisting that the signing of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) “is a must”, China once again opposed India’s bid to enter the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group. Before openly opposing India’s bid at the 48-nation meet in Seoul, China had been opposting India’s bid for the membership. The seat in NSG would have given India a platform to trade and export of nuclear technology.
Eventhough a set-back for the government, it can take a heart from the fact that number member nations had thrown its weight behind India after its aggressive diplomatic push for the bid.
But with China and few other member nations persisting with its oppostion, the meet ended without any decision.
Wang Qun, Director General of China’s Department of Arms Control, told reporters at Seoul, that there was no consensus on the NSG membership of non-NPT countries like India.
He insisted that for a country to be a member of NSG, signing of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty “is a must”. This rule has not been set by China but by the international community, he added.
Wang warned “if exceptions are allowed here or there on the question of NPT, the international non-proliferation will collapse altogether”.
Asked about reports that Beijing was blocking India’s membership, the Chinese chief negotiator said NSG has so far not agreed to any agenda item on participation of non-NPT countries. Therefore, there was no point of China supporting or opposing India’s membership.
The anti-India stand taken by China again today clearly shows that Chinese President Xi Jinping has not responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s urgings in Tashkent yesterday that Beijing should support India’s case.
Seeking China’s support for India’s membership, Modi had urged Xi to make a “fair and objective” assessment of India’s application which is before the Seoul plenary as the two leaders met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit.