China on Friday said it has never recognised India and Pakistan as nuclear powers and ruled out extending such a status to North Korea.
“I would like to say that China has never recognised India and Pakistan as nuclear-weapon states,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told a media briefing in Beijing. “China’s position on the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons remains firm and unchanged.”
Lu was referring to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which neither India nor Pakistan are signatories of. China has blocked India’s entry into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group on the ground that it has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. India had formally applied for NSG membership in May 2016.
The spokesperson was replying to a question on if China would recognise North Korea as a nuclear state like India and Pakistan after talks between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader in Vietnam broke down over Pyongyang’s refusal to give up two nuclear processing plants.
In its first reaction to Indian Air Force air strikes against a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp across the Line of Control, China on Tuesday had urged India and Pakistan to “exercise restraint”. China had asked New Delhi to fight against terrorism through international cooperation.
Will support India in fight against terrorism: France
France on Friday extended complete support to India in the fight against terrorism in all its forms, PTI reported. It also welcomed the release of Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who was captured by Pakistan on Wednesday after his MiG-21 fighter jet was shot down.
“I welcome the easing of tensions between India and Pakistan as well as the release of the Indian Air Force pilot detained in Pakistan,” said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. “I hail the two governments’ choice of restraint and responsibility and urge them to resume bilateral dialogue.”
Le Drian said France will do its utmost to ensure those responsible for the February 14 Pulwama attack are sanctioned. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsbility for the attack.
Along with the United States and the United Kingdom, France on Wednesday had moved a fresh proposal at the United Nations Security Council to blacklist Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar. The three permanent members of the UN Security Council have asked the 15-nation Security Council sanctions committee to subject Azhar to an arms embargo, global travel ban and freeze of his assets.
France took over the presidency of the United Nations Security Council on Friday.