Mexico gives its nod, but China still in the way of India’s entry into elite NSG club

Support is recognition of commitment by Modi to agenda of disarmament and non-proliferation: Mexican President.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | Washington Dc | Updated: June 10, 2016 9:37 am
Narendra Modi, Nuclear Suppliers Group, india nsg support, india mexico nsg support, modi in mexico, india china, china india, china nsg, modi mexico visit, modi nsg mexico, mexico india relations, india news, latest news, mexico news Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto drives Prime Minister Modi to a restaurant, in Mexico City, Wednesday. (Source: PTI)

Hours after Mexico changed its longstanding stance to support India for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a group of countries, led by China, is said to have blocked India’s application to become a member of the elite grouping that controls transfer of nuclear technology.

Thursday started on an optimistic note for India, as Mexican President Pena Nieto, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi by his side in Mexico City, said, “As a country, we are going to be positively and constructively supporting India’s request in recognition of the commitment by Prime Minister Modi to the international agenda of disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.”

Modi thanked President Nieto “for Mexico’s positive and constructive support for India’s membership of the NSG”.

The expression of support, coming within a week of Switzerland’s, was reiterated by Mexico’s foreign ministry, which said that “President Pena declared that Mexico would give positive and constructive support to the membership of India in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), recognising the commitment of India to the disarmament and non-proliferation agenda”.

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Mexico has held a strong position on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation for years, and was instrumental in forging the 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco, which declared Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone free of nuclear weapons.

But as the day rolled into night, and the NSG’s extraordinary plenary meeting took place in Vienna, sources said that “most countries appear positive” but it’s “an ongoing process” — an oblique reference to the China-led blocking of the Indian application.

With the Vienna meeting over, India will now focus on the “hold-out countries” in the next few weeks, with an official saying that they were “cautiously optimistic” on the way forward.

The NSG plenary in Seoul will take place on June 23-24. “The Vienna meeting was a pre-Seoul vetting process… it will be important to watch which countries raise concerns,” a source told The Indian Express.

According to Reuters, diplomats in Vienna confirmed that China was leading the opposition to India’s entry, along with New Zealand, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa and Austria.

“By bringing India on board, it’s a slap in the face of the entire non-proliferation regime,” a diplomatic source from a country resisting India’s push was quoted as saying by the agency.

According to reports, China’s strategy is that it will not support India’s case unless Pakistan becomes a member. But that would be unacceptable to many NSG countries, considering Pakistan’s track record on nuclear proliferation — after all, A Q Khan, considered the father of its nuclear programme sold nuclear technology to other countries, including North Korea and Iran.

“China, if anything, is hardening (its position),” another diplomat was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Most of the hold-outs oppose the idea of admitting a non-NPT state and argue that if it is to be admitted, it should be under criteria that apply equally to all states rather than under a “tailor-made” solution for a US ally.

Bloomberg news agency, meanwhile, reported that US Secretary of State John Kerry has written a letter to countries asking them to support India.

Kerry’s letter, according to the report, said, “India has shown strong support for the objectives of the NSG and the global nuclear nonproliferation regime and is a ‘like-minded’ state deserving of NSG admission.”

To sweeten the deal, Kerry has also hinted that India would be willing to cooperate with Pakistan’s application in his letter. “With respect to other possible new members of the NSG, Indian officials have stated that India would take a merit-based approach to such applications and would not be influenced by extraneous regional issues,” he wrote.

Tanvi Madan, director of The India Project at the Brookings Institution, said the right approach would be “to work on China, while also trying to get everyone else on board”.

“Both India and the US will work on getting China on board, but simultaneously the idea is to get to a point where China might be the only holdout — in the past, it hasn’t liked to be the only one standing out and the message from India will be: do you really want to be the only one standing against this; think of the impact on not just the Indian elite but public, especially combined with the UN terrorist designation issue.”

Reflecting on the Chinese-led opposition in NSG, Teresita C Schaffer, a non-resident senior fellow at Brookings Institution, told The Indian Express, “In 2008, India got a waiver from the NSG after months of intense high-pressure diplomacy by the US and India. The strategy was to get everyone but China on board, and then push China.”

According to Schaffer, who has served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East and South Asia, “What is getting lost is the fact that including India makes the NSG goal of controlling nuclear exports more achievable than it is today. That should matter to the other holdouts and even to China if they thought about it.”

Alyssa Ayres, senior fellow at Council on Foreign Relations, The Indian Express, “The NSG is a 48-member regime that takes decisions on a consensus basis. That means that even one dissenting member can hold up a decision. So having Switzerland and Mexico committed gives India two more vital votes — every single vote matters in a consensus decision process.”

Ayres, who served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US State Department said, “The US has been committed to supporting Indian membership in the NSG. I’m certain that US diplomats are working hard to persuade China of India’s case.”

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  1. Y
    Yakobi
    Jun 10, 2016 at 4:26 am
    Very hindu fabricated story, one living by hind crime of hinduism racism by faith has, no other way to be treated but , just like his victim, taken as a slave to free his victims, or be slaughtered to impose justice of human equality.
    Reply
    1. Y
      Yakobi
      Jun 10, 2016 at 4:27 am
      hinduism fabrication of hindu crooked of historical proportions, no innocent was touched, but hindus rap ist of their own mo thers and sisiters to promote hinduism racism by faith, read book of master promoter of hinduism racism by faith, hindu ra ppist of his baby sister, called ram. There is no good hindu criminal living, but a dead hindu criminal on payer of fire.
      Reply
      1. Y
        Yakobi
        Jun 10, 2016 at 4:23 am
        hinduism fabrication of hindu crooked of historical proportions, no innocent was touched, but hindus rap ist of their own mo thers and sisiters to promote hinduism racism by faith, read book of master promoter of hinduism racism by faith, hindu ra ppist of his baby sister, called ram. There is no good hindu criminal living, but a dead hindu criminal on payer of fire.
        Reply
        1. J
          John
          Jun 10, 2016 at 1:19 am
          Great Job, we have the Chinese communists on a BACKFOOT for the first time in 50 years..almost.lt;br/gt;- India: Use this momentum and advantage; develop soft power in China like in Afghanistan. Almost 20% ( official estimate but even more) of Chinese are Buddhists and have a very positive opinion of India, due to origin of BUDDHISM. It is only the communists in China who take the hard line. With religious control, somewhat reduced, when compared to 10 years ago, send our Buddhist monks and slowly develop ground support….Soft power.lt;br/gt;- KUDOS to Indian Diplomats and Government for crafting such a multi faceted strategy, really proud of you guys.lt;br/gt;- Another good move from Indian Govt., is the tariffs and anti-dumping investigations on Chinese goods…this is a good move since Chinese Economy is really in Shambles…..we can see it among common people too….who invest heavily in Stock Market,,just like people in USA and have lost tons of money.
          Reply
          1. J
            John
            Jun 10, 2016 at 2:00 am
            My dear Yakobi: the cab driver from New York time to meet your maker and your brethren is getting near. Donald Trump is the Republican nominee and he will win to become POTUS. He will then take support of Hinjews and make sure you guys meet your maker. When you go there you will think 16 virgins are waiting for you but it will be 16 Virginians(Americans) waiting with 32 boots to kick you on your rear. Then you will pray to be a Hinjew in your next life to avoid getting kicked by 32 boots of Virginians…..the wait is getting shorter….Your rear will be pulp..shortly.
            Reply
            1. A
              adeel mirza
              Jun 10, 2016 at 6:33 am
              tum khud ek nenderthal ki aulad ho kaminay, y r u taunting their religion? r u mad? is this ur mom has taught u?
              Reply
              1. H
                Hrithik
                Jun 10, 2016 at 2:54 am
                Every RTI regarding foreign travel expenses is stonewalled. As Delhi CM said, PMO has become a travel agency.
                Reply
                1. H
                  Hrithik
                  Jun 10, 2016 at 2:44 am
                  nuclear technology is not going to reduce poverty and neither it will take us to the path of security and development. health, education and research - basics should be our priority.
                  Reply
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