Sino Qua Non
The Great Wall of Xi was a clear and refreshingly jargon-free examination of the real issues at stake. It showed India’s negotiations for the Nuclear Suppliers Group membership not as a diplomatic debacle but as a calibrated move. A section of the media, including social media, was abuzz with cryptic remarks that seemed to suggest the world would come to an end if India didn’t get entry into the NSG. Such stray remarks only confuse the lay reader more. There are no permanent friends or foes in diplomacy. We can only hope that the external affairs ministry succeeds in tactfully wooing its neighbour.
HENA PRASUN, Mumbai
China having made its position on the matter clear, India’s hope for NSG membership was a fragile one. In the bargain, China succeeded in embarrassing us and gave Pakistan cause for amusement. The Modi government needs to be less transparent about its plans the next time. A red
carpet may hide not-sofriendly intentions, especially when spread by an enemy’s friend.
AVINASH GODBOLEY, Dewas
The clutch of developed countries pressuring India, still coping with an energy crisis, to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy are the same ones denying it access to clean nuclear energy. Notably, the NSG and the Australia Group. This is despite India proving to be a responsible nuclear nation. The Modi government failed to gauge accurately China’s hostility and its uncompromising stand on India’s entry into the 48-member cartel. India can, however, take solace in its acceptance into the elite Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). India’s role here acquires salience as China’s application was rejected by the group on the grounds of covert supply of nuclear technology to North Korea, Pakistan and Iran. As one of MTCR’s veto-wielding members, India will be in a position to give China a taste of its own medicine.
NALINI VIJAYARAGHAVAN, Thiruvananthapuram
If we go solely by the NSG rulebook, India should not feel shortchanged because it clearly states nations which have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty cannot be considered for admittance into the club. Still, it rankles, given India’s credible record so far, non-opposition from most other NSG members and China’s earlier assurance of not opposing India’s membership bid. Nehru had taken China’s side for the UNSC seat, but our neighbour has not demonstrated any gratitude whatsoever. We have to adopt a very balanced approach towards China, to simultaneously win over its support while making it clear that bilateral ties can be strained because of such obstinacy.
BAL GOVIND, Noida