China signals it will continue to block India from NSG

BEIJING: China signalled on Wednesday that it would continue to block India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group despite the special rapport struck between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping during the past three meetings starting with the Wuhan talks in April last year.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said there should be no double standards in the application of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. China feels that countries like India, which have not signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), should not be admitted to the NSG.

India is not a signatory to the NPT but believes that it has the right to enter the NSG on the basis of its clean nonproliferation record.

“We believe we should conduct wide consultations and look for practical measures by opposing double standards in enforcing the treaty,” Geng said without directly mentioning India. The statement comes at the start of a meeting in Beijing of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to discuss issues related to nuclear disarmament.

“We believe we should enhance its authority and effectiveness, universality and do a better job in preventing nuclear proliferation,” Geng said. “We believe that the international community should stick to multilateralism and promote the three pillars, namely non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” he said.

Some observers believe that China would try to keep India out of the NSG as long as its close ally, Pakistan, is regarded as unsuitable for NSG membership.

The NSG is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of guidelines for nuclear and nuclear-related exports.  (TON)