China slams US for backing India’s bid to join nuclear group.
Beijing: China on Monday said a country which has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) can’t be allowed to enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), especially as a “farewell gift” for countries to give to each other.
Beijing’s reaction came a day after the outgoing Obama administration said China was an “outlier” in the efforts to make India a member of the nuclear club.
While NPT is an international treaty to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and technology, NSG countries seek to control export of material, equipment and techsnology. “Regarding India’s application to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, regarding non-NPT countries admission to the NSG, we have made our position clear before so I will not repeat it,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters, reacting to remarks by US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal.
“Clearly there is one outlier that needs to be addressed and that is China,” Ms Biswal had said on India’s NSG membership bid.
Taking a dig at the Obama administration, Ms Chunying said, “I just want to point out that NSG membership shall not be some kind of (a) farewell gift for countries to give to each other.”
China has been blocking India’s membership bid for the 48-member grouping despite backing from a majority of members on the grounds that India is not a signatory to the NPT. China is advocating a two-step approach for admission of countries who have not signed the NPT. As per the new stand announced by Beijing, it first wants to find a solution that is applicable to the admission of all non-NPT countries followed by discussions on admitting specific nations.
Besides India, China is also interacting with Pakistan on the issue as Islamabad too has applied for NSG membership.
On the issue of China’s technical hold on India’s application to get Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar banned by the UN, Ms Chunying took an exception to the criticism that Beijing had blocked the UN ban on him.