NSG Membership Not Obama’s Farewell Gift: China Hits Back At US

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Beijing: China on Monday voiced its displeasure at the United States and at the outgoing Barack Obama administration for suggesting Beijing was blocking India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) bid, saying the matter was not “a farewell gift” to be given by Washington.

“I just want to point out that NSG membership is not some kind of farewell gift for countries to give to each other,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a press briefing, adding that she would not reiterate China’s stand on the issue of non-NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) countries joining the elite group. Beijing has said that the group first needs to agree general criteria for all non-NPT countries before considering India’s case.

The US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia in the outgoing Obama administration, Nisha Biswal, said on Sunday that China was an “outlier” preventing India’s entry.

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The Obama administration had hoped to push India’s bid through before the end of its term. There are question marks whether the new Trump administration, which takes over on January 20, may pursue the bid among other competing issues including with China.

On Monday, Hua also defended China’s move to essentially veto India’s bid to sanction the Pakistani terrorist Masood Azhar at the UN Security Council. Saying “I don’t like the word block”, Hua said the reason behind delaying the listing was “to allow more time for consultation and deliberation.”

“China raised the technical hold to give more space for deliberation and consultation,” she said. “It is a regret that no consensus has been reached so far. We need time for deliberation and consultation. We need more time for deliberations so as to reach consensus and the committee will follow relevant procedure and rules of procedure. e will remain touch with relevant parties on this,” she said.

On the Pakistani Navy this weekend inducting two Chinese vessels for security at the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea, Hua said media reports suggesting China “donated” the ships were incorrect and that Pakistan had purchased the vessels.