India to face ‘roadblock’ to NSG bid

China on Monday gave a clear-cut hint that it would block India’s plea for inclusion in the prestigious Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), media reports said. The Communist Party-ruled nation said that there was no change in its position for New Delhi’s bid for entry into the group.

The Chinese persistence on its stand against India’s entry makes it difficult for India to secure an NSG membership in the upcoming plenary meet of the 48-member elite grouping which regulates global nuclear trade. The plenary session is expected to be held at Bern in Switzerland in June.

It may be recalled that at the NSG’s plenary session in Seoul in June 2016, China opposed India’s application. It again scuttled India’s bid in the November consultative group meeting.

India has been backed by the US, Switzerland, Mexico, Italy, Russia and Britain, but China opposes its entry, citing its non-signatory status to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“China’s position on the non-NPT members’ participation in the NSG has not changed,” media reports quoting Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

“We support the NSG group following the mandate of the 2016 plenary session and following building consensus as well as the intergovernmental process that is open and transparent to deal with the relevant issues in a two-step approach,” she added.

Beijing argues that if India can be let in why not Pakistan, which is also not an NPT member.

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