New Delhi: When Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s visitation to China mainly to discuss India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) proved futile, the situation of China being the main entity against India’s NSG bid was widely discussed.
But on Thursday, when the Seoul NSG plenary commenced, there was one issue that fish-boned India’s hope of gaining unanimous entry into the club: India’s non-NPT (Nuclear Proliferation Treaty) status.
Chinese ambassador Wang Qun, while speaking to reporters, said, “NSG consensus is in favour of a Non Proliferation Treaty country, we hope India joins the NPT first.
Wang also said that signing NPT first was one of five criteria which was not set by China, but by a group.
Citing that India was not an NPT nation, Brazil, Austria, New Zealand, Ireland, Turkey, Russia, South Korea, New Zealand and – surprisingly – Switzerland all opposed India’s accension into the group. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier been promised by Switzerland that it would support India in its NSG bid.
India’s neighbour Pakistan has also raised strong objections against India’s induction into the NSG. Pakistan President told China’s Xi Jinping that if India is inducted into the NSG despite being an NPT country, it would threaten stability in South Asia.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged, on his visitation to Tashkent during the SCO summit, China’s president Xi Jinping to make evaluate the prospect of India being an NSG member on merit.
So far, India has the support of USA, France, Mexico, Japan and few other countries.