India On Thursday hit back days after China said that an NSG membership can’t be outgoing US President Barack Obama’s “farewell gift” to New Delhi. “India is not seeking NSG membership as a gift. India is seeking it on its non-proliferation record,” said MEA spokesman Vikas Swarup.
“I, of course, cannot speak for other applicants,” he said in a reference to Pakistan, which has also applied for NSG membership, reportedly at the behest of China. Earlier this week, China had strongly reacted to US’s assertion that Beijing was an “outlier” in the efforts to make India a member of the elite nuclear club.
“Regarding India’s application to the NSG, regarding non-NPT countries’ admission to the NSG, we have made our position clear… 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,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying had said.
China has been blocking India’s NSG membership bid 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 which have not signed the NPT. Beijing wants to find a solution that is applicable to the admission of all non-NPT countries followed by discussions on admitting specific nations.
Swarup also reiterated that there was no need for any country to be concerned after India’s test-firing of the nuclear-capable Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile last month.