Beijing: During the recently held Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting in Seoul, South Korea, China adopted a very coercive and aggressive stance on the issue of India’s membership application, it has emerged.
According to sources who kept a close watch on the meeting, China was extremely aggressive and coercive in asking the smaller countries to take a strong position on India’s application, even though the consensus was that it had been decided to discuss New Delhi’s application because of its impeccable non-proliferation record.
Even before the meeting got underway, China had raised objections, saying “There has to be considered consensus before discussing India’s case”. Both the United States and France, according to the sources, took a strong stand in support of India and used tough language against China, saying, “We are the founding members, we know the rules better than you.”
According to the sources, given the firm stand taken by the United States and France, China had reportedly asked, “We are ready to discuss India’s application, but give us your word that you won’t take a decision on India in this meeting”.
The 26th plenary of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) ended in Seoul last month with the two-day proceedings remaining inconclusive over India’s application for its membership.
The 48-member block saw a broad consensus between its members over non-inclusion of the countries who are not signatories to the Nuclear Non-Profileration Treaty (NPT).
As predicted, China opposed New Delhi’s entry into the NSG, saying the global non-proliferation order would collapse if the latter was allowed exception.
“If exceptions are allowed here or there on the question of NPT, the international non-proliferation order then will be collapsed altogether,” Wang Qun, Director General of the Department of Arms Control of China’s Foreign Ministry, said in a statement from Seoul then.
“In the absence of NPT as a political and legal basis, it will be inconceivable for the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the Iran nuclear deal) to be reached,” he added.
The then anti-India stand clearly indicated that Chinese President Xi Jinping had not responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal in Tashkent made on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit to support India’s case in a “fair and objective” manner.