Amid concerted efforts by China and Pakistan to oppose India's bid for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the United States has said India meets missile technology control regime requirements and is ready for entry into the exclusive club.
The United States has overruled a Chinese alibi that India should not be inducted into the NSG as it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), an agreement originally entered into nuclear-armed countries to preserve their right to make nuclear weapons to themselves and exclude others.
''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 said on Friday.
Kirby was responding to a question about reports that China and Pakistan have joined hands to oppose India becoming a member of the NSG.
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 NSG.
China backed by Pakistan is hell bent on blocking India's entry into the NSG, harping on an earlier, but now irrelevant, demand that members of the group should have signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), an unequal treaty that seeks to exclude latecomers.
''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 NSG are an internal matter among current members,'' he said.
Defending its move to block India's entry into the NSG, China has claimed that several members of the 48-nation bloc shared its view that signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (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 were of the view that NPT was the cornerstone for safeguarding the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Asked about reports that China is pushing Pakistan's entry into the NSG linking it to India's admission into the bloc, Lu has 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.
US officials pointed out that India's non-proliferation credentials can never be compared with Pakistan's, as Pakistan has a history of "selling nuclear technology to rogue states like Libya". They point to the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, Dr AQ Khan, and his global nuclear trade.
The NSG is a body concerned with reducing nuclear proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials used to make weapons.
The NPT is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology
However, the fact remains that whether China likes it or not India, Pakistan, Israel and South Sudan remain 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 helped Pakistan stall India's bid to get NSG membership.