New Delhi: With China opposing India’s attempt to gain membership into the powerful Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the US backing it, the two nations have been locked in a tussle in the last 24 hours.
Beijing’s ploy seems to be to place India and Pakistan in the same basket despite Islamabad’s dubious nuclear proliferation record.
The latest face-off began when China indicated on Friday evening that it would block India’s unilateral entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, claiming that “several members of the 48-nation bloc shared its view that signing of the NPT was an important standard for the NSG’s expansion”.
According to news agency reports from Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that not only China, but also many other NSG members were of the view that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was the cornerstone for safeguarding the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Asked about reports that China was pushing Pakistan’s entry into the NSG linking it to India’s admission into the bloc, Mr Lu said the NSG was an important part of NPT, which had been the consensus of the international community for long.
“All the multilateral non-proliferation export control regimes including the NSG have regarded the NPT as an important standard for the expansion of the NSG,” he said.
Avoiding any references to Pakistan, Mr Lu said, “Apart from India, lot of other countries have expressed their willingness to join. Then it raises the question to the international community- shall the non-NPT members also become part of the NSG?” he said.
“The international community believes that there should be a side discussion in the NSG on this issue and a decision should be made in accordance with relevant rules.
China’s position is not directed against any specific country but applies to all the non-NPT members,” he added, apparently to avoid making it explicit that Beijing was targeting New Delhi....