China said on Wednesday it is yet to formalise a position on the accession of countries such as India and Pakistan, which are not signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
Beijing’s reaction came a day after India and China held talks on New Delhi’s bid to join the elite club that controls trade in nuclear technology and know-how.
“China’s position is very clear,” foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a regular news conference on Wednesday.
“China is yet to form a position on the accession of any specific non-NPT country. But we are willing to have discussions with NSG members on the accession of non-NPT countries.”
Commenting on Tuesday’s talks with India, Hua said countries were “yet to agree on the accession of any specific member into the group”.
She added, “That is to say, we first need to reach (an) agreement that applies to all non-NPT countries, then we will talk about accession of a specific country.”
Referring to the one-on-one discussions on the NSG with India, Hua said China will hold the next round of bilateral consultations between the directors general of the disarmament departments.
In a statement issued after the NSG talks, China had pointed out that the issue of the participation of non-NPT states in the NSG raises new questions for the group under new circumstances, and the “crux of the...question is how to address the gap between the existing policies and practices of the non-NPT states and the existing international non-proliferation rules and norms based on the NPT as the cornerstone”.
India-China ties were hit after Beijing blocked New Delhi’s bid to join the NSG during a meeting in Seoul in June.
In a separate announcement at the news conference, Hua said State Councillor Yang Jiechi will take part in the BRICS National Security Advisors (NSAs) meeting to be held in New Delhi on Thursday.
“BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is playing a bigger role in international issues and we hope that BRICS countries can strengthen coordination and development and security issues and contribute to peace, prosperity and stability,” she said.
The discussions will focus on anti-terrorism, energy security, cyber security, the situation in West Asia and other international and regional issues of common interest. “The attendees will have in-depth discussions on these topics,” she said.
The meeting is being held ahead of the BRICS leaders’ summit in Goa next month, which Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to attend. “In the past, BRICS countries have had dialogue on political and security issues of common interests and established high mechanism for security affairs,” Hua said.