Deadlock persists as China leads opposition to India's NSG membership bid

NSG looks after critical issues relating to nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology.

Updated: Jun 23, 2016, 23:54 PM IST
Deadlock persists as China leads opposition to India's NSG membership bid
Pic courtesy: ANI

Seoul: Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to make a 'fair and objective' assessment of his country's entry to the 48-nation grouping, media reports said on Thursday that no consensus had emerged in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meet about India's induction in the nuke club.

China is said to have 'belligerently' led opposition to India's membership of NSG at a three-hour post-dinner meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group here tonight which ended in a deadlock.

Preceding the two-day plenary of the 48-member NSG, which began today, China had repeatedly said that India's membership was not on the agenda and is said to have made every effort to prevent any discussion on India's bid.

However, Japan is believed to have raised India's case in the morning session after which it was agreed that the matter would be taken up at the special post-dinner meeting.

Indian official sources said that China was joined by countries like Turkey, Austria, New Zealand, Ireland and Brazil, which questioned as to how a country like India which had not signed the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) can be admitted to the grouping, as per PTI.

Brazil's objections are said to have surprised the Indian diplomats who pointed out that it is a member of the five-nation BRICS grouping. Besides India and Russia, the grouping includes Russia, China and South Africa.

About 300 participants from 48 member countries are attending the plenary. Officials said that discussions were inconclusive and that it would only be clear before the end of the plenary tomorrow.

Earlier today, meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, PM Modi told Jinping that India's case should be judged on its own merits and China should contribute to an emerging consensus in the Seoul meeting, according to External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

However, when asked about China's response, Swarup refused to comment, saying, "You know, it is a complex and delicate process. We are waiting (to see) what kind of news comes from Seoul. I will not make any more comment on this."

Swarup also stated that most of the time of the Modi-Xi meeting was devoted to the NSG issue.

India has been seeking membership of NSG to enable it to trade in and export nuclear technology.

It has been looking at 63,000 MW energy requirement through nuclear programme by 2030.

The NSG looks after critical issues relating to nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology.

The NSG works under the principle of unanimity.

(With Agency inputs)