What Is Plan B If China Refuses to Support India’s NSG Bid?

The member countries are reportedly planning new rules for non-NPT countries like India.

Updated21 Jun 2016, 08:46 AM IST
2 min read

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is trying to work around China’s resistance to India’s membership to the group in favour of Pakistan, reports The Economic Times. The member countries, including the current chair Argentina, has been discussing informally, a plan to bypass China by establishing time-bound terms for membership of countries which have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

India and Pakistan, both bidding for the membership to NSG, have not signed the NPT. There have been conflicting reports about the membership being the topic of discussion at the plenary meeting.

What does the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty entail?

US State Department: Countries with nuclear weapons will move towards disarmament; countries without nuclear weapons will not acquire them; and all countries can access peaceful nuclear technology.

Closer to the upcoming plenary meeting, China itself has confirmed that NSG countries are discussing the matter of membership for non-NPT countries. However, it has maintained that it is not on the agenda for the Seoul meeting, reports PTI.

We did not target any country, India or Pakistan. We only care about the Non-Proliferation Treaty. If the non-proliferation regime is changed how can we explain the Iranian nuclear treaty. According to my understanding, admission of new members is not on the agenda of the NSG meeting in Seoul. 
Hua Chunying, Spokesperson, Chinese Foreign Ministry

While reports from China suggest that the Seoul meeting does not have India on its agenda, the US has appealed to member countries to support India’s bid.

We believe, and this has been US policy for some time, that India is ready for membership and the United States calls on participating governments to support India’s application at the plenary session of NSG later this week. The United States will certainly be advocating for India’s membership.
Josh Earnest, Press Secretary, White House

China’s comments on the Seoul meeting have come in the light of efforts by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and External Affairs Secretary S Jaishankar.

Earlier, during the NSG agenda meeting held in Vienna on 9 June, China claimed that India was not part of the discussion topics. This put the Indian government in soup back at home.

Also Read: Congress Seeks Apology From Modi for ‘Lying’ About NSG Vienna Meet

However, The Economic Times cites sources while claiming the contrary. It also reports that 29 of the 48 member countries, in fact, supported India.

In light of such tensions between China-Pakistan and India, the pro-India countries are informally discussing the plan to solve the problem of the non-NPT status of countries like India.

This could prove crucial to India’s membership since it wishes to gain entry into the nuclear group before US President Barack Obama’s term ends. Obama’s term ends on 20 January 2017.

(With agency inputs.)

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Published: 21 Jun 2016, 07:35 AM IST

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