Dampening India’s hopes of entering the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at a plenary session meeting likely to be held in Swiss capital Bern next month, China on Monday said it has not changed its stance on non-NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) states entering the NSG. Without China’s support, India’s chances of entering the group look slim. “China’s position on the non-NPT members’ participation in the NSG has not changed,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press briefing, reported news agency PTI.
“We support the NSG group following the mandate of the 2016 Seoul plenary session and following building consensus as well as inter-governmental process is open and transparent to deal with the relevant issue in a two-step approach,” Hua said.
Following India’s application to become a part of the NSG, Pakistan too submitted its application, backed by Beijing. India’s application is backed by the US and other western countries. China, however, has continued to maintain that new members have to sign the nuclear NPT. India has declined to sign the NPT saying it is discriminatory.
Meetings between Indian and Chinese officials concluded with Beijing backing a two-step approach where NSG member nations first had to arrive at certain principles for the admission of non-NPT states into the group, and then discussions on specific cases could be taken up.
Last week, India boycotted the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) meet, and analysts say this could worsen China’s stand on the UN listing of JeM leader Masood Azhar as a global designated terrorist, apart from its stance on India’s NSG membership.