US flays 'outlier' China for blocking India from becoming NSG member: report

An 'outlier' China is trying to block global efforts to bring better qualified India from getting on board the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the outgoing Obama Administration said in its strongest criticism of the Communist giant, which is constantly trying to block effort to bring New Delhi on board the elite grouping.

"Clearly there is one outlier that needs to be addressed and that is China," PTI quoted Nisha Desai Biswal, assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, as saying in an interview.

The US statement comes a week ahead of the Obama Administration passing on the baton to the Trump Administration.

The lone hurdle to India becoming a member of the NSG is the Chinese resistance as all decisions at the NSG are taken by consensus.

"The President (Barack Obama) has been very clear and unequivocal that he believes that India has met the criteria for NSG and that the United States supports India's entry that India is ready and India should be brought into the NSG," she said.

"We worked very closely with India to support India's application into the NSG, but we also recognise that there continue to be some concerns, some reservations that some of the members of the NSG have expressed that need to be worked through," she said.

"We believe we have made substantial progress on that and as we hand the baton over to the next administration the path forward will be found for that. Clearly there is one outlier that needs to be addressed and that is China. As we move through all the other elements of the NSG membership, I think, we're on a good path forward," Biswal said.

She said some clarity on the basis of China's objection has to be brought about for the next administration (Trump) to carry forward the negotiations.

"But this is something that the President himself has personally engaged on, the Secretary (of State), (National Security Advisor), Ambassador (Susan) Rice and down the line this has been an area of intense effort by this administration," Biswal said.

While India is yet to become member of the NSG, Biswal said, the Obama administration is "very very gratified to see India's entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)".

China is insisting on its ally Pakistan being treated on a par with India as a two-step "non-discriminatory" approach for admission of countries who have not signed nuclear-Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in the NSG.

But, since Pakistan, nor its supporter China, has the non-proliferation credentials like India, it would be hard for most NSG members to accept such a proposal.

China is now insisting on a common ground for the admission of specific non-NPT members into the NSG that would also be applicable to the admission of all non-NPT members into the NSG.