Beijing set to block India's NSG entry

06 June 2016

India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is unlikely at an early date with China expected to try to block the proposal with as much vigour as US backs India's entry into the select club, say experts.

Beijing simply does not want New Delhi to have ''full legal acceptance'' as a nuclear armed power and have an equal status in the global nuclear regime.

China is backing Pakistan even though Islamabad has been caught selling nuclear weapon secrets to Libya and was named and shamed globally, just as it wants to deny India the privilege.

While India has a legitimate claim as a non-proliferating nation unlike China or its ally Pakistan, the fact remains that India is not the lone nuclear-armed country outside the NSG. China is anchoring its arguments on the fact that Pakistan too is not a party to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and if India is given a place in NSG, then Pakistan too deserves to be in – that nations cannot make an exception for India alone.

It is most likely that the NSG meeting in Vienna on India's membership will end up as another front for contest between US and China

The 49-member NSG is concerned with reducing nuclear proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials that may be applicable to nuclear weapon development and by improving safeguards and protection on existing materials.

Leading American think tanks such as the Stimson Center, United States Institute of Peace and School of Advanced International Studies, feel that China will do everything to block India's NSG membership.

Pakistan and China are orchestrating their anti-India moves well and Pakistan is expected to apply for NSG membership with China's backing to thwart India's bid.

Reports quoting Micheal Krepon, a nuclear proliferation expert and co-founder of the Stimson Center, a think tank in Washington DC, said the Chinese will underline the point that if the NSG makes an exception for India, the informal group of nations should allow Pakistan in too.

US experts, however, say that Pakistanšs nuclear programme from concept to delivery is dependent on supplies from China in violation of international norms, a prospect that could go against China also.

The heavy water plant and the plutonium production reactors at Khushab were made with Chinese assistance.

Also in the civil nuclear field, China assisted Pakistan with the construction of nuclear power plants at Chashma. China is also involved in the proliferation of missile technology, say experts.

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