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India not seeking NSG membership as `gift`, MEA tells China

Delhi: Hitting back at China, Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday that India was not seeking NSG membership as a gift but was seeking it based on our non-proliferation record.

China had said on January 16 that admission of non-NPT signatories in NSG could not be a “farewell gift” for countries to give to each other.

China’s comments had come a after the outgoing Obama administration had asserted that Beijing was an “outlier” in the efforts to make India a member of the elite nuclear club.

“Regarding India’s application to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), regarding non-NPT countries admission to the NSG, we have made our position clear before so I will not repeat it,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying had told a media briefing, reacting to remarks by US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal, on the issue.

“Clearly there is one outlier that needs to be addressed and that is China,” Biswal had said on India’s NSG membership bid.

“I just want to point out that NSG membership shall not be some kind of (a) farewell gift for countries to give to each other,” Hua had said, taking a dig at the Obama administration, as per PTI.

China has been blocking India’s membership bid for the 48- member grouping despite backing from majority members on the grounds that India is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).

China is advocating a two-step approach for admission of countries who have not signed the NPT.

As per the new stand announced by Beijing, it first wants to find a solution that is applicable to the admission of all non-NPT countries followed by discussions on admitting specific nations.

Besides India, China is also interacting with Pakistan on the issue as Islamabad too applied for NSG membership after India.

(With Agency inputs)

Source: Zee News