China urges 'prudence and caution' over India's NSG entry

China on Monday extended half-hearted support to India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, saying that ''prudence and caution'' need to be exercised on the issue.

On Sunday, visiting US President Barack Obama had backed India's inclusion into the elite 48-member body.

''We believe that such inclusion should be conducive to the integrity and effectiveness of the regime and a decision should be made on consensus. We notice India's commitment to relevant issues,'' Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a media briefing.

''We support the group to include new members and we support India to take further measures to meet the requirements for the inclusion in the group,'' she said.

India and the US yesterday committed to continue to work towards India's phased entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group.

This was stated in the joint statement after President Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks in New Delhi.

Besides clearing the obstacles for the implementation of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, President Obama reaffirmed the US position that India meets MTCR requirements, and is ready for NSG membership. It supports India's early application and eventual membership in all four nuclear regimes.

Asked whether China wants to back any other country's entry into NSG, a key body that controls the international civil nuclear trade regime, Hua said, ''As for the expansion of the group, the members should make the decision on consensus after thorough discussions. India's inclusion into this group is an internal matter of the group. It needs prudence and caution and thorough discussions among all members.

''We support such discussion and we also support India's inclusion into this group if it meets all the requirements,'' she said.