BEIJING/NEW DELHI, 31 October 2016
India and China today held “substantive and constructive” discussions on India’s bid for Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership during the second round of talks between their top nuclear experts in Beijing.
Following the first such meeting in New Delhi on 13 September, India and China continued their discussions on the NSG issue in Beijing today when JS (Disarmament and International Security) Amandeep Singh Gill met Director General of Department of Arms Control Wang Qun, sources said.
“The talks were substantive and constructive. The engagement will continue as per the directive of the leadership,” sources said.
During the talks, India once again asserted to the Chinese side that its implementation of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) principles was “second to none”.
Today’s talks come ahead of a possible informal consultations in next two months on India’s membership in a NSG panel, headed by Argentine ambassador Rafael Grossi.
In the June Plenary of NSG in Seoul, despite strong American support, China stonewalled India’s bid to get entry into the group on the grounds that it was a not a signatory to the NPT.
Wang, who was the chief negotiator for China in the South Korea meet, had told reporters that signing of the NPT “is a must”, maintaining that the rule has not been set by China but by the international community.
Wang had also warned “if exceptions are allowed here or there on the question of NPT, the international non-proliferation regime will collapse altogether.”
China has been maintaining that the question of the non-NPT states’ participation is, in essence, a multilateral issue, and can only be subject to multilateral solution by the Group.
China also pointed out that the issue of the non-NPT states’ participation in the NSG raises new questions for the Group under the new circumstances, and the crux of the above question is how to address the gap between the existing policies and practices of the non-NPT states and the existing international non-proliferation rules and norms based on the NPT as the cornerstone.