Want China Times | Staff Reporter | June 16, 2015
India conducts the first test of the Agni-V long-range missile, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, from a mobile launcher on Jan. 31, 2015. (Photo/CFP)
China has continued to block India’s efforts to gain membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a multinational body aiming to reduce nuclear proliferation by regulating the trade of materials used in nuclear weapons, says India’s Deccan Herald.
At the NSG conclave in Argentina earlier this month, China allegedly insisted on a consensus regarding the admission of countries that did not sign the original Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968. India is not a signatory to the NPT, and NSG guidelines prohibit members from entering nuke ties with non-NPT countries, though Washington helped New Dehli secure a waiver in 2008 to pave the way for US-India nuclear cooperation.
Since President Barack Obama declared Washington’s willingness to support New Delhi’s membership application to the NSG in 2010, India has been reworking its nuclear export control mechanism to meet the bloc’s requirements. During Obama’s second visit to India in January this year, he also voiced support for India’s application to join three other export control regimes, the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Australian Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime.
Though the US has stated that India is “ready for membership of the NSG,” China, which supported the 2008 waiver, argued at the recent NSG summit that the NPT had been the “cornerstone” of the regime and that the status of being an NPT state is “a crucial standard” for new members.
According to the Deccan Herald, China’s stance is an apparent attempt to support the admission of Pakistan — also a non-NPT country — into the NSG if India were to become a member.
On the aspirations of Pakistan — which also opposes India’s application — for NSG membership, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying saidt China had noted its ally’s efforts towards mainstreaming into the global non-proliferation regime.
“We support Pakistan’s engagement with the NSG, and hope such efforts could be conducive to the authority and effectiveness of international non-proliferation regime,” Hua said.
Duowei News, a US-based Chinese political news outlet, says China’s wariness stems from the belief that the inclusion of non-NPT countries would “weaken” the effectiveness of the NSG and represent a step back because India has historically not taken responsibility for its promises when it comes to reducing nuclear proliferation. Beijing’s oppposition is therefore aimed at maintaining order in global anti-nuclear efforts, Duowei added.
Hua Chunying 華春瑩