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India NSG bid runs into a Great Wall in Seoul

| SRIDHAR KUMARASWAMI
Published : Jun 25, 2016, 4:49 am IST
Updated : Jun 25, 2016, 4:49 am IST

In a big blow to India’s ambitions of joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), China scuttled its entry bid at the NSG plenary in Seoul on Friday.

In a big blow to India’s ambitions of joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), China scuttled its entry bid at the NSG plenary in Seoul on Friday. An upset New Delhi, without making a direct reference to Beijing, lashed out, saying that procedural hurdles were persistently raised by “one country” at the plenary meet.

The plenary meeting in the South Korean capital ended with no decision on India’s membership bid as divisions persisted over admitting non-NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) members, with China leading the opposition. News agency reports from Seoul said while 38 out of 48 NSG members backed India, China opposed India’s entry vociferously while some other countries. including Brazil, Switzerland, Turkey, Austria, Ireland and New Zealand, were also opposed to India’s bid because it is not a signatory to the NPT, indicating that Beijing was not alone in its supposed concerns.

The U-turn by Switzerland, which had supported the Indian bid during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit there, jolted India. New Delhi strongly hinted in its reaction that entry to the NSG was linked to its commitments on climate change in the Paris Agreement which could now be impacted. India is bracing for a long haul and will live to fight another day whenever the grouping meets next. Beijing’s move is bound to affect bilateral ties between the two Asian giants.

At the end of its two-day plenary, the Nuclear Suppliers Group on Friday declared its “firm support” for the “full, complete and effective” implementation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime, a clear indication that no exception will be made for India.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi