Support for India’s bid to enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group has been increasing even as China remains firmly opposed to it, The Times of India reported on Tuesday. “There is a greater buy-in from these countries [which are part of the NSG],” the English daily quoted senior German diplomatic sources as saying.
India’s bid to enter the NSG, which comprises countries that seek to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and have signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, is currently being discussed by the group. India applied for membership to the 48-country group in March 2016 and has aggressively campaigned its case around the world. It has received support from various members of the NSG such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Mexico, France and Germany.
The improvement in India’s chances of entering the NSG has been the result of intense diplomatic engagement, the TOI report said. Markus Ederer, Germany’s foreign secretary, met his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar and discussed the matter on Monday and it will remain at the forefront of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Germany in May and July this year.
China has opposed India’s membership to the NSG as New Delhi is not a signatory of the NPT. It has maintained that India’s candidature could be considered only after the NSG had drawn up guidelines for admission of countries that have not signed the NPT. This would include Pakistan that has also expressed a wish to enter the group.
Relations between India and China have deteriorated recently because of several factors, including China’s displeasure over the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh and a boycott of Chinese goods sold in Indian markets. China has also stalled India’s attempts to have Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar designated a terrorist by the United Nations.