India blames China for stalled NSG membership


NEW DELHI: India has blamed regional rival China for blocking its entry to a nuclear trade group opposed to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, after its members met in South Korea with no decision on India’s bid to join.

India wants to become a member of the 48-nation Nu­clear Suppliers Group (NSG) which works to prevent the sharing of technology that could spread nuclear weapons.

New Delhi believes join­ing the NSG, which concluded a two-day meeting in Seoul Friday, would give it better access to low-cost, clean nu­clear energy, important for economic growth.

But despite Prime Minis­ter Narendra Modi’s report­ed attempts to convince Chi­nese President Xi Jinping to support India’s member­ship, Beijing stood firm in its opposition.

“The NSG plenary in Seoul earlier in the day de­cided against granting India membership of the grouping immediately,” Vikas Swa­rup told Press Trust of India news agency.

A three-hour discussion on India’s membership saw “procedural hurdles persis­tently raised by one country,” he said.

One obstacle reportedly raised by China was that India is not a signatory to the Nucle­ar Non-Proliferation Treaty — a treaty on nuclear disarma­ment that India says is biased.

“India singles out China for crushing NSG dream,” a front page headline in the Hin­dustan Times newspaper said.

Others said that China had been not alone in its op­position.

The Indian Express news­paper said: “No entry in NSG: India blames one country (Chi­na), others said no too.”

Modi had ramped up his bid to get India into the NSG in the last few weeks, undertak­ing a multi-nation trip to court key countries including the US, Switzerland and Mexico.

He met with China’s Xi on the sidelines of a summit in Uzbekistan Thursday, apparently to push for Bei­jing’s support.

“India believes that an ear­ly decision on its application remains in larger global inter­est,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

India’s formal application to the group in May this year has received backing from key NSG members including US, France and Japan.


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