Beijing: China on Monday said India’s membership bid in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) had become “more complicated” under the “new circumstances” as it again ruled out backing New Delhi’s entry in the grouping, saying there should be non-discriminatory solution applicable to all non-Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatory countries.
China has been blocking India’s membership in the 48- nation grouping which controls the nuclear commerce even though India has the backing of majority of the members.
The group goes by consensus approach on the admission of new members.
“About the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) it is a new issue under the new circumstances and it is more complicated than the previously imagined,” China’s assistant minister of foreign affairs Li Huilai told media briefing here.
He, however, did not elaborate what are the new circumstances and complications.
“China supports the NSG to have consultation for reaching non-discriminatory and universally applicable solution, applicable to all members of the NSG,” he said.
Pakistan has also applied for the NSG membership. While China has not openly supported Pakistan’s membership, it came with a two-step approach which stipulates that the NSG members first need to arrive at a set of principles for the admission of non-NPT states into the NSG and then move forward discussions of specific cases.
Last month, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said there was no change in China’s stand on admission of non-NPT states into NSG, ruling out any chances of India’s entry into the elite grouping.
Li, who interacted with media to highlight Chinese President Xi Jinping’s participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit to be held at Astana Capital of Kazakhstan on June 8-9, said China wanted to deepen relations with India.
“China and India are important neighbours and both are fast developing, both are emerging new market economies. Both are important forces upholding peace and stability,” he said. In recent years, relations between India and China are developing “sound and at quite fast speed”.
President Xi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meetings have agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation and make joint efforts to build even closer development partnership, he said.
Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to take part in the SCO summit where his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif is also expected to be present.
The SCO comprised China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan acts as China-dominated security group focussing on Central Asia.
India and Pakistan till now had the status of observers along with Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia in the group.
Asked about Afghanistan blaming Pakistan’s intelligence agency for recent massive bomb attacks in Kabul, Li said China condemned recent terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Britain and Philippines.