Chinese official media has acknowledged that India is “inching closer” to get membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
An article in the state-run ‘Global Times’ said that if New Delhi is admitted into the elite grouping then “nuclear balance” between India and Pakistan will be broken.
It also said that it will also cast a cloud over peace and stability in the entire Asia-Pacific region.
It however, said that China could support India’s inclusion in the 48-member nuclear club if it “played by rules”.
The article titled “Beijing could support India’s NSG accession path if it plays by rules” mentioned that an entry into the NSG will grant the country global acceptance as a legitimate nuclear power and Pakistan will be left behind.
“New Delhi seems to have inched closer to NSG membership after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gained backing from the U.S., Swiss and Mexico in its bid to join the elite nuclear club earlier this month,” the article said.
“The major goal for India’s NSG ambition is to obtain an edge over Islamabad in nuclear capabilities. Once New Delhi gets the membership first, the nuclear balance between India and Pakistan will be broken,” it said.
The write-up said India garnered support from some of the NSG members because Washington has started to treat New Delhi as part of the U.S. alliance.
“If it joins the group, New Delhi will be able to import civilian nuclear technology and fuels from the international market more conveniently, while saving its domestic nuclear materials for military use,” said the article published in the Global Times, a tabloid daily which is part of the ruling Communist Party of China group of publications headed by People’s Daily.
It said PM Modi who could not even get a U.S. visa several years ago, has now visited the U.S. more often than any other country during his two years in office.
The U.S. recognised New Delhi as a ‘major defence partner’ during Modi’s recent visit, meaning that the White House has given India the treatment as a U.S. military ally, it said.
“Against the backdrop of Washington’s accelerated pace of promoting its pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, it will be highly likely to keep supporting New Delhi’s nuclear ambitions, in order to make it a stronger power to contain China,” it said.
“However, as a country that has signed neither the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) nor the Comprehensive Nuclear—Test—Ban Treaty (CTBT), India is not yet qualified for accession into the NSG,” it said.
“That’s why the bloc is still divided over the case, and countries including New Zealand, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa and Austria have expressed their firm objections to India’s membership,” it said.
The article failed to refer Beijing’s own nuclear power cooperation with Islamabad in supplying a number of nuclear reactors, including two 1100 mw reactors currently under construction in Karachi.