China took a “very correct position” at the August 1 meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) but Pakistan did its best to stop India’s safeguards agreement from being passed.
National Security Adviser MK Narayanan told Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper that China had time and again indicated it would not be a problem when India’s nuclear deal goes before the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
Should China, or any of the other 44 members of the NSG want, they could hold up the passage of the nuclear deal since the group, which is not a formal organisation, operates on the basis of consensus.
“We can only go by what people say and their body language. (Chinese) President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, at every meeting they have had with PM (Manmohan Singh) when the issue has been raised, they have indicated they will not be a problem… (at the NSG).”
Narayanan revealed that Indian and Chinese leaders spoke on various occasions by telephone. “After PM Singh won the confidence vote in parliament last month, for instance… India is the flavour of little more than the month…”
According to him, 95 per cent of the countries in the NSG agreed with India’s line that the country needed clean energy at affordable prices. “We have a small number worried about non-proliferation. If we can get over that, we are over the hill.”
“Much of that will also depend on what kind of persuasion (the) US, France and others can bring to bear,” he said, adding India did not have in the NSG the kind of ally it had in the IAEA — Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei.