Sign NPT to gain entry into NSG, China tells India

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in an undated Image. Image: AP

DHARAMSALA, Feb 1: China has told India, it must sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to gain entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Beijing has made the remarks yesterday while asserting that “patient negotiations” were required for New Delhi’s admission into the group as there is no precedent for the inclusion of non-NPT countries, reports the PTI.

China is the only key member of the NSG that has long opposed India’s entry into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on the ground that India is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and the issue has become a thorn into the relationship between the two countries.

Though the other P5 (China, France, Russia, Britain and the US — the permanent members of the UNSC are also known as P5 countries) members have backed India’s case based on New Delhi’s non-proliferation record, it is understood that Beijing’s opposition has made India’s entry into the group difficult as the NSG works on the principle of consensus.

“The P5 countries are committed to uphold the NPT mechanism, recognise that it is the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation system,” the report quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang as saying while responding to queries on whether India’s application to enter into the NSG figured in at the two meetings attended by the P5 countries to discuss issues related to nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as NPT, is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.

India didn’t sign the NPT because it considers NPT as a flawed treaty and it did not recognize the need for universal, non-discriminatory verification and treatment.

The treaty recognizes P5 members as nuclear-weapon states; meaning only these 5 countries are allowed to have nuclear weapons.

The NSG is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of guidelines for nuclear and nuclear-related exports.

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