China wants 'non-discriminatory' formula for NSG membership

The NSG is a group of nuclear suppliers that regulate global trade in nuclear?technology. Photograph:( Getty )

WION new delhi Sep 14, 2016, 09.59 AM (IST)
Chinese diplomats conveyed to their Indian counterparts in a meeting today that Beijing would remain firm on its stand that the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) must adopt a “two-step approach” toward admitting new members to the group.

Chinese diplomats said that it would like the NSG to “explore through an open and transparent process” before reaching an agreement on a “non-discriminatory formula” over granting membership to countries who haven’t signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Earlier in June, at the annual plenary in Seoul, China had argued that if the “NPT signatory” criterion was diluted to admit India into the NSG, it should also open doors for other non-NPT countries like Pakistan.

Once the formula is in place, the second step should be to take up “country-specific membership issues”, said a press release issued by the ministry of foreign affairs of the Chinese government.

Sources in New Delhi said that China’s position meant that it would not allow India to enter the NSG unless it ensured that the cartel would also admit Pakistan, PTI reported.

India’ s ministry of external affairs stated that the discussions between the diplomats had agreed to meet for the next round of discussions.

The NSG controls global nuclear commerce.  Its guidelines prohibit members from entering into nuclear ties with the countries that have not signed the NPT. Neither India, nor Pakistan has signed the NPT.

The NSG, however, granted a waiver to India in 2008 which paved the way for India entering into a civil nuclear deal with the United States.

India subsequently got into similar agreements with France, Australia and Canada.

India submitted its application for membership of the NSG on May 12 and Pakistan did so on May 19 this year.

(WION with inputs from agencies)