Aditya Vaibhav
New Delhi: Will China finally support India’s bid for Nuclear Suppliers Group( NSG) membership? The Obama administration on Monday again put its weight behind India’s admission to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, calling on member states to support New Delhi’s application while China, the main hurdle, appeared to soften its position.
The US administration used both its White House and state department pulpits to voice its support for India’s membership bid as the 48-country cartel begins its plenary session in Seoul. “India is ready for membership. And the United States calls on participating governments to support India’s application,” President Barack Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest told newsmen.
“We continue to call — and nothing’s changed about our position — on participating governments of NSG to support India’s application at the plenary session this week in Seoul,” echoed state department spokesperson John Kirby. He said India’s application is something about which we have routinely talked to other NSG members. He indicated  Washington had done its spadework and left it to New Delhi to convince Beijing.
Earnest said the White House has made its views known both publicly and privately and “we’ll continue to do so in advance of the meeting this week.” “Participating governments will need to reach a consensus decision in order to admit any applicant into the group. And the US will certainly be advocating for India’s membership,” he said.
In Beijing, Chinese spokespersons and government proxies went into contortions to explain their opposition to India’s bid, sometimes pointing to the “principle” of only signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty being entertained as members. “The door is open for the admission of the non-NPT members. But the members of the NSG should stay focused on whether the criteria should be changed and whether non-NPT members should be admitted into the NSG,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters on Tuesday.
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