Beijing, June 20
India’s inclusion in the Nuclear Supplier’s Group was not on the 48-member bloc’s Seoul meeting later this week due to differences among members, China said on Tuesday a day after Indian External Minister Sushma Swaraj claimed Beijing did not oppose India’s entry.
"We have stressed that the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is still divided about non-NPT countries entry into the NSG and under the current circumstances we hope that NSG will make through discussions to make a decision based on consultation," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing.
"As we understand the annual conference in Seoul this year also has no such topic. We understand that non-NPT countries are concerned about their entry into the NSG. But since NSG is still divided about the issue, t is still not mature to talk about the entry issue in the annual conference in Seoul," she said. "I want point out that the NSG agenda has never covered any issue concerning the non-NPT countries joining the NSG."
"China maintains that NSG should have through discussion on the joining of the non-NPT countries in a way agreed by all parties, so as to make a decision based on agreement. This position is not directed against any country and applies to all non-NPT states."
The group will meet on Friday.
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India recently intensified its campaign for entry into the group and even has most of the 48-member group — prominent among them the US — supporting its bid. Some countries — among them China — have opposed the move citing concerns about allowing non-parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to be members.
The others opposing India’s entry are Austria, New Zealand, Turkey, South Africa and Ireland.
Swaraj claimed on Friday that China had not opposed to India’s inclusion, but only insisted on meeting criteria. She also said she was confident India would be a member of the group by the end of the year.
The Chinese media recently reported that India’s foray into the group would endanger Beijing’s interests.
Pakistan has also opposed India’s membership arguing that it would jeopardise Pakistan’s interests.
According to Pakistan’s leading newspaper, Dawn, the country had submitted its membership application on May 19, a week after India, which applied on May 12— Agencies
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