China said the “The door is open for discussions for the admission of all non-NPT countries” into the NSG, subtly shifting from its earlier stand that India’s membership was not on the agenda for the nuclear group’s plenary in Seoul this week.
NSG meet at Seoul
More than 300 diplomats from the 48-member countries will attend the NSG plenary on June 23-24. Both South Korea and Argentina, whose ambassador Rafael Grossi chairs the Nuclear Suppliers Group this year, have been supportive of India’s bid for a membership.
Challenges to Membership
Even so, a “no-vote” from any country in the NSG could scuttle either a discussion on the admission of non-NPT (non-signatories to the Non Proliferation Treaty) member applicants India and Pakistan, or the actual decision.
US support to India
US states that India is ready for membership, and continues to call upon the participating members of the NSG to support India’s application.
China’s support to Pakistan
China is talking about non-NPT members joining as a whole rather than any other specific non-NPT country’s accession.
China’s words indicate that it will not give up pushing for India and Pakistan to be treated at par. In an article, China’s state-run tabloid Global Times sought to absolve Islamabad of any role in former Pakistani nuclear chief A.Q. Khan’s illicit nuclear proliferation racket. “Actually, the proliferation was done by Abdul Qadeer Khan, Pakistan’s chief nuclear scientist, and was not an official policy of the Pakistani government,” the daily said.