China’s opposition to India’s bid to join NSG took a more strident tone today with its official media saying that it would “jeopardise” China’s national interests besides touching a “raw nerve” in Pakistan. Even as officials in New Delhi have been striving hard to downplay Chinese opposition to India becoming a member of the 48-nation grouping, China in recent days has been publicly vocal in its opposition.
China volunteered an official statement on Sunday which said that members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group “remain divided” on the issue of non-NPT countries joining it and called for “full discussions”.Official media here, which reflects government’s view, went a step further today by asking India not to let “nuclear ambitions blind itself.”
“Last week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a diplomatic journey, travelling halfway across the world with his top goal to garner support for his country’s entry into the (NSG)” ahead of the plenary meeting of the group expected to be held in Seoul on June 24.
“The US and some NSG members have given a push to India’s membership bid, but the reported opposition from most countries, especially China, seems to have irritated India,” an op-ed commentary in state-run Global Times, the first write-up on the issue, said.
The NSG looks after critical issues relating to nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology. The group works under the principle of unanimity and even one country’s vote against India will scuttle its bid.
The commentary noted that India and Pakistan, both nuclear powers in the region, keep alert to each other’s nuclear capabilities. “India’s application for NSG membership and its potential consequences will inevitably touch a raw nerve in Pakistan, its traditional rival in the region,” it said.
“As Pakistan is not willing to see an enlarging gap in nuclear power with India, a nuclear race is a likely outcome. This will not only paralyse regional security, but also jeopardise China’s national interests,” said the commentary titled “India mustn’t let nuclear ambitions blind itself”.
China has maintained that non-NPT signatories should not be admitted into NSG on the grounds that it would undermine efforts to prevent proliferation.