China’s differences with India over its entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) continue. The spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry claimed that the agenda circulated by the Chair of this year’s NSG Plenary meeting being held on 24th June at Seoul does not include the issue of India’s membership.
“China recognizes India’s need and urge for Nuclear energy. But China cannot endorse India joining NSG as India is not a signatory to NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty)”, stated the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson ‘Hua Chunying’.
Indian Foreign Minister ‘Sushma Swaraj’ had said China is not opposed to India’s membership, “We are hopeful will convince Beijing”. The statements by Chinese Foreign Ministry snubbed this optimism. ‘Chunying’ stated there were divided opinions among member countries regarding NSG membership of non NPT signing countries. She went on to clarify that China is not obstructing India’s membership; it aims at consensus among the countries involved. The final decision entirely depends on merits of Indian proposal and the results will not be uncovered in the June meeting.
‘Chunying’ confirmed the China visit of Indian Foreign Secretary ‘Jai Shankar’, acknowledging China’s understanding of India’s urge to join the NSG. Bilateral consultations were held between Mr Jai Shankar and his Chinese counterpart. Mr Jai Shankar also raised the NSG issue during his brief meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister ‘Wang Yi’. He clarified how India as NSG member can assist in resolving Global Warming issues with the help of its peaceful Nuclear Energy Programs.
India has received support of many major countries for its NSG bid including USA, Britain, France, Japan, Russia and Australia. US called upon all NSG member countries to support Indian application. At same time, Russian President ‘Vladimir Putin’ assured he will intercede with China on India’s behalf. ‘Putin’ asserted that in spite of doubts raised by China, a path will be paved through the issues.
India is making concerted efforts and is hopeful of gaining support from the remaining member countries. Turkey, South Africa, Ireland and New Zealand are also not in support of India’s NSG membership.
China continues to stonewall India in attaining its goals. It would appear from statement of ‘Chunying’ that China is firm on its stand.
But lately China appears to have softened its stance and might relax its objections to India’s NSG bid.