Will not discuss India’s entry to Nuclear Suppliers Group at meeting: China
China is one of the countries to stall India’s entry to the nuclear export control bloc since 2016, giving the reason that New Delhi isn’t a signatory to the NPT.Updated: Jun 21, 2019 20:13 IST
There will be no specific discussion on India’s admission into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at the group’s two-day meeting in Astana this week, China said Friday, adding that New Delhi’s admission will be discussed after a consensus evolves over the entry of all non-NPT (the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) countries in the bloc.
The Chinese foreign ministry declined to give a timeline for consensus to emerge among the bloc’s 48 members.
China is one of the countries to stall India’s entry to the nuclear export control bloc since 2016, giving the reason that New Delhi isn’t a signatory to the NPT.
Foreign ministry spokesperson, Lu Kang, said at the regular ministry briefing on Friday that the NSG’s plenary session will not discuss the entry of countries who have not signed the NPT “before reaching a specific plan”.
“So there is no discussion on India’s participation,” he said.
Beijing had earlier called for a two-step plan to admit countries like India; first NSG members arrive at a set of principles for the entry non-NPT states and then move forward discussions of specific cases.
“There is no blocking by certain members (the meeting). In accordance with the agenda of the meeting, the member states of the group will continue to discuss ‘technical, legal and political issues for non-NPT parties to join the group’. Before reaching a non-discriminatory solution to all ‘non-NPT Parties’, the Plenary of the Group does not discuss the inclusion of specific “non-NPT Contracting States”, Lu said.
“On the issue of group expansion, China’s position is consistent and clear. We advocate strict adherence to the rules of the group, earnestly safeguard the authority and seriousness of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and seek non-discriminatory and acceptable solutions by all parties through full consultation,” Lu said.
“As for the fact that you mentioned that India’s quest to join the NSG has been discussed for two years, I would like to emphasise that seeking to join a multilateral institution requires consensus and indeed must be fully negotiated. No one can predict that it will be decided tomorrow, next year or at any time. Relevant issues need to be based on non-discrimination and full discussion before seeking consensus,” Lu said.
“The entry of India or any other country I believe it is an internal affair of the NSG to discuss this. So we are doing it totally in accordance with rules within this mechanism,” he said.
Asked whether there was any progress on this in the India-China bilateral dialogue on non-proliferation issues, Lu said: “I don’t have any specific answer”.
He said officials from the disarmament departments of both countries have held talks.
“I can check on more specific details for you. I would like to add that in the NSG meetings and in the working group meetings as we have said China’s position is not targeting on any specific country, but they are based on the NSG rules and procedures. Our goal is to uphold non-proliferation and the NPT which is the cornerstone of the international arms control system,” he said.