WASHINGTON: Amid reports that China and Pakistan are jointly opposing India’s bid for the Nuclear Suppliers Group membership, the US on Saturday said India meets missile technology control regime requirements and is ready for entry into the exclusive club.
“I’d point you back to what the president said during his visit to India in 2015, where he reaffirmed that the US view was that India meets missile technology control regime requirements and is ready for NSG membership,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters at his daily news conference.
His remarks came in response to a question on reports that China and Pakistan have joined hands to oppose India becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
“I’m going to refer you to the governments of China and Pakistan with respect to their positions on India’s membership,” Kirby said.
“Deliberations about the prospects of new members joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group are an internal matter among current members,” he said. Defending its move to block India’s entry into the NSG, China today claimed that several members of the 48-nation bloc shared its view that signing of the NPT was an “important” standard for the NSG’s expansion.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in Beijing that not only China but also a lot of other NSG members are of the view that Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is the cornerstone for safeguarding the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Asked about reports that China is pushing Pakistan’s entry into NSG linking it to India’s admission into the bloc, Lu said the NSG is an important part of NPT, which has been the consensus of the international community for long.
Although India is not part of the NSG, Indian side recognises this consensus, he claimed. India, Pakistan, Israel and South Sudan were the four UN member states which have not signed the NPT, the international pact aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.
Last month, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had said China has helped Pakistan to stall India’s bid to get NSG membership.