BEIJING: China will not budge from its stance against India’s entry into the powerful Nuclear Suppliers Group ( NSG), and assume the same approach for “all-weather friend” Pakistan, because neither country has ratified the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ( NPT), the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday, ahead of President Pranab Mukherjee’s four-day China tour.
“China, along with other countries, has been maintaining that there should be a thorough discussion on whether non-NPT countries can join NSG, and this decision should be made on consensus. This applies to all non-NPT countries, including Pakistan,” said Hua Chunying, the ministry’s spokesperson, at a media briefing.
India recently said there was no rule that restricts NSG membership to NPT signatories, citing the example of France, which had become a member despite not ratifying NPT for a while. Countering the Indian argument, Hua said, “France was a founder of the NSG so the issue of its acceptance… does not exist.”
Mukherjee arrives in the southern city of Guangzhou on Tuesday evening, and will reach Beijing late Wednesday. He will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and other top officials before leaving Beijing on Thursday.
China has been building nuclear power plants and conducting other commercial deals in the nuclear energy sector, which some observers see as a violation of NPT. But it wants to block India because an NSG membership will make it possible for New Delhi to access sensitive technologies and materials from different parts of the world, analysts here said.