NSG meet underway in Switzerland, China says ‘it will oppose India's entry’
Despite India stating that it was in touch with member countries of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) over its application for entry into the 48-nation bloc which is currently holding a crucial meeting in the Swiss capital Bern, China has once again said that it will oppose New Delhi’s bid and there is no change in its stance on admission of non-NPT states into the NSG.
"As for non-NPT countries being admitted to the group, I can tell you there is no change in China's position," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said.
The ongoing plenary will conclude today itself. Beijing's expected move at the session in Bern will keep New Delhi waiting for another year.
China is the only major country which has been blocking India’s entry into the 48-member bloc. At the NSG plenary session in Seoul last year, China had opposed India's application to enter the group.
"I want to point out that the NSG has clear rules on expansion and Seoul plenary made clear mandates on how to deal with this issue. With these rules and mandates, we need to act as they dictate. As for the criteria regarding admitting new members, this plenary meeting in Switzerland will follow mandate of Seoul plenary and uphold principle of decision upon consensus and continue to discuss various dimensions like technical, law, legal and political aspects of non-NPT countries admission to the group,” Geng said.
China has made clear in the past that it will oppose India joining the elite group as it is not a signatory to the Non-Nuclear-Proliferation Treaty. Beijing had even argued that if India could be let in, why not its ‘all weather’ ally Pakistan. Other key players such as the US, UK, France, Russia and Germany have openly backed India’s bid.
The issue has become a major sticking point in bilateral relations between India and China. After India's application for entry into the elite group in May 2016, Pakistan too had applied with the tacit backing of Beijing. China's opposition has made India's entry into the group difficult as it is guided by the consensus principle. India is not a signatory to the NPT.
The NSG is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons.