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MEA attacks Beijing for NSG ‘hurdles’

| SRIDHAR KUMARASWAMI
Published : Jun 25, 2016, 6:03 am IST
Updated : Jun 25, 2016, 6:03 am IST

The 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) said on Friday, at the end of its two-day plenary in the South Korean capital Seoul, that it will continue to have discussions on participation of countries

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Tashkent. (Photo: PTI)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Tashkent. (Photo: PTI)

The 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) said on Friday, at the end of its two-day plenary in the South Korean capital Seoul, that it will continue to have discussions on participation of countries which have not signed the NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty).

The scuttling of India’s bid to join the NSG at the Seoul plenary show that Chinese President Xi Jinping ignored Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s request to him on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Tashkent on Thursday to support India’s candidature. In Beijing, China maintained that its stand was not against any specific country and advocated “out-of-the-box” thinking to arrive at a consensus on non-NPT countries entering the NSG.

In a statement attacking China without naming it, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) said, “We understand that despite procedural hurdles persistently raised by one country, a three-hour long discussion took place last night (Thursday night) on the issue of future participation in the NSG. An overwhelming number of those who took the floor supported India’s membership ... a few other countries raised issues regarding the process for India’s participation in the NSG. It is self-evident that process issues would not arise if these countries were actually opposed to our participation.” The MEA added, “Our application has acquired an immediacy in view of India ... envisaging 40 per cent non-fossil power generation capacity by 2030. An early positive decision by the NSG would have allowed us to move forward on the Paris Agreement ... India believes that an early decision on its application remains in the larger global interest. India’s participation in the NSG will further strengthen nuclear non-proliferation and make global nuclear commerce more secure. It would advance energy security and make a difference to combating climate change. We are confident that the NSG will recognise these benefits as it deliberates further on the issue.”

Confirming that India’s application was discussed during the two-day deliberations, the NSG said it had discussions on the issue of “technical, legal and political aspects of the participation of non-NPT states in the NSG” and decided to continue its discussion.

Meanwhile, in Beijing, defending its opposition to entry of non-NPT countries like India into the NSG, China said it was guided by the rules of the 48-nation grouping which were not directed against any specific country. “China wants two things: we must abide by the rules of NSG because these kind of rules are not directed against any specific country. We must strive for consensus by thinking out of the box,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a briefing.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi