|Girish Shetti |||May 15, 2016 08:22 AM EDT|
(Photo : Getty Images) In a move that shows disapproval for China's position, the U.S. has said that India is ready for NSG membership.
In a strong rebuttal to China's position that India does not fulfill the criteria for NSG membership, the U.S. on Friday said that India is fully ready for NSG membership. A top Washington official said India meets requirements of missile technology control regime and therefore qualifies for NSG membership.
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"I'd point you back to what the President said during his visit to India in 2015, where he reaffirmed that the U.S. view was that India meets missile technology control regime requirements and is ready for NSG membership," State Department Spokesman John Kirby said.
Kirby's remark on Friday came in response to media reports that China and Pakistan are jointly opposed to India's inclusion into the elite nuclear club.
China defiantly defended the decision to block India's NSG membership just hours before Kirby's remark. Beijing claimed that other NSG members support its view that signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is a pre-requisite for inclusion of new members in the NSG.
"All the multilateral non-proliferation export control regimes including the NSG has regarded NPT as an important standard for the expansion of the NSG," China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said on Friday.
India and with three other United Nations members, including its arch-rival Pakistan, are yet to sign NPT - an international treaty that aims to put an end to nuclear proliferation.
India refuses to sign the NTP as it considers the treaty to be very discriminatory in nature. New Delhi also insists that the possession of nuclear weapons is very critical for its national security.
Pakistan too considers nuclear weapons as immensely critical for its national security and hence has refused to sign the NPT. Islamabad has categorically stated that it would support India's NSG membership only if Pakistan is also allowed to join the nuclear club.
However, Islamabad's poor track record in nuclear proliferation is said to be a huge stumbling block to its NSG membership. In 2004, Pakistan's famous nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan publically admitted that he was involved in proliferating nuclear weapons technology to North Korea and Iran.
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