To make matter more difficult for India, China has again ruled out backing New Delhi’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). This time China has said that India’s membership bid in the NSG has become “more complicated” under the “new circumstances”.
“About the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) it is a new issue under the new circumstances and it is more complicated than the previously imagined,” China’s Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Li Huilai told the media during abriefing about China’s participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit to be held in Kazakhstan on June 8 and 9.
He, however, did not elaborate what are the new circumstances and complications.
The highlight of the SCO summit is the admission of India and Pakistan as new members of the organisation.
Pakistan has also applied for the NSG membership.
While China has not openly supported Pakistan’s membership, it came with a two-step approach which stipulates that the NSG members first need to arrive at a set of principles for the admission
of non-NPT states into the NSG and then move forward discussions of specific cases.
Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to take part in the SCO summit and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif is also expected to be present.
The group goes by consensus approach on the admission of new members.
“China supports the NSG to have consultation for reaching non-discriminatory and universally applicable solution, applicable to all members of the NSG,” Li said reiterating China’s stand.
China has been blocking India’s membership in the 48- nation grouping which controls the nuclear commerce even though India has the backing of majority of the members. China has consistently blocked India’s entry by saying that there should be non-discriminatory solution applicable to all non-NPT signatory countries.
Last month, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told the media that there is no change in China’s stand on admission of non-NPT states into NSG, ruling out any chances of India’s entry into the elite grouping.
In recent years, relations between India and China are developing “sound and at quite fast speed”.
President Xi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation and make joint efforts to build even closer development partnership, he said.
Modi is also likely to meet Xi on the sidelines of the summit though officials say the meeting has not been confirmed.
(With inputs from PTI)