Strong opposition by China caused India’s bid for ‘Nuclear Suppliers Group’ (NSG) membership to fail inthe recent meeting held at Seoul in South Korea.China effectively scuttled the bid, refusing to even discuss India’s case specifically.
However Indian hopes for entry into the prestigious club were kept alive with the news that there will be another meeting of NSG by year end.
China has been asserting that any non-signatory country to the ‘Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons ‘(NPT) should be barred from NSG membership. The NSG meeting to be held by the year-end will specifically discuss revised membership criteria for the countries who have not signed the NPT.This meeting becomes crucial to Indian aspirations.
A senior US official said on condition of anonymity, “We are confident that we have got a path forward by the end of this year”. He went on to say, “It needs some work. But we are confident that India would be a full member of the (NSG) regime by the end of the year,”
In the recent NSG meeting held at Seoul -US, Britain, France, Canada, Japan, Australia, Russia and majority of other countries supported India’s candidature. A few countries differed primarily due to the strong opposition from China.
Experts however claim that India is too important to ignore, and will be an NSG member country in the coming years.
The next regular meeting of NSG is scheduled for next year. However, Mexico proposed for a special meeting by this year end.Many countries are of the opinion that membership criteria of non NPT countries should get decided at the earliest. China strongly opposed Mexico’s proposal but it met the approval of other countries.
Meantime, NSG has set up a special panel for informal consultations on India’s membership. This panel will be headed by Argentine Ambassador Rafael Grossi.
It would appear that China is getting isolated and will not be able to stop India from acquiring NSG Membership in the near future.