India’s bid to be part of the Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG is well documented. The major hurdle in the bid remained neighbour China, who has voted against India every time the bid came up for talks. In a move which indicates a softening stand ahead of President Xi Jinping’s visit to India, China on Monday said it is ‘ready’ for talks with India on its entry into the NSG
It should be noted that the Communist state did specify that it will not be supporting India’s bid for a UN ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar, saying Beijing is opposed to anyone making ‘political gains in the name of counter-terrorism’.
“When other countries apply for membership, this group will need to examine the application and it would require the approval or agreement through consensus by all members of the group and then to decide whether the new member will be taken on board,” Chinese vice foreign minister Li Baodong said.
“These rules cannot be decided by China alone,” Li added.
“On this, China is willing to jointly explore all kinds of possibilities with India, but this must accord with the charter of the NSG, and certain rules need to be respected by all sides,” the minister said.
India last month said it had held ‘substantive’ talks with China on its attempt to join the NSG, a 48-member grouping of countries that trades in civil nuclear technology. Besides China, South Africa, New Zealand and Austria were among the 48-member NSG bloc that opposed India’s bid.
The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) recognizes the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France – as nuclear weapons powers but not others. India has ruled out signing the NPT but says its track record of non-proliferation should entitle it to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group.