In­dia’s NSG ....

Pakistan Observer - - PAGE -

NPT mem­bers, Chi­nese for­eign min­istry spokesper­son Hua Chun­y­ing said.

“The in­clu­sion of non-NPT mem­bers has never been a topic on the agenda of NPT meet­ings. In Seoul this year there is no such topic,” Hua said.

New Delhi has been mak­ing all ef­forts be­fore the June 24 ses­sion. The NSG con­trols ac­cess to nu­clear tech­nol­ogy, which In­dia needs, for one, to meet its in­creas­ing power re­quire­ments.

But, Beijing’s cat­e­gor­i­cal state­ment comes as a sur­prise as Swaraj said a day ago that China was not against In­dia’s in­clu­sion but was talk­ing “only about the cri­te­ria and pro­ce­dures”.

Reit­er­at­ing China’s stand, Hua said on Mon­day the NPT was the “cor­ner­stone” for non-pro­lif­er­a­tion and Beijing wanted de­tailed dis­cus­sions on the is­sue. In­dia en­joys most of the ben­e­fits of mem­ber­ship un­der a 2008 ex­emp­tion to NSG rules granted to sup­port its nu­clear co­op­er­a­tion deal with Wash­ing­ton, though the coun­try has never signed the treaty.

In­dian for­eign sec­re­tary S Jais­hankar was in Beijing on June 16 and 17 on a low-key visit and met for­eign Chi­nese min­is­ter Wang Yi. Hua said though the two sides ex­changed ideas, Beijing wanted more talks on the is­sue.

“It is not di­rected against any one coun­try,” Hua said, talk­ing about China’s stand that vir­tu­ally dashed In­dia’s hopes.

The NSG works on the prin­ci­ple of con­sen­sus and a sin­gle hold-out coun­try can spoil In­dia’s chance to be part of the group­ing.

In­dia claims to have got the back­ing of most coun­tries, in­clud­ing the US, Bri­tain, Italy, Mexico, Switzer­land and Rus­sia.

Op­po­nents ar­gue that grant­ing In­dia mem­ber­ship will hurt ef­forts to pre­vent pro­lif­er­a­tion. It will also irk In­dia’s ri­val Pak­istan , an ally of China , which has re­sponded to In­dia’s mem­ber­ship bid with one of its own.

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