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Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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Nuclear Suppliers Group Membership: China Dismisses India’s Stand on France

Nuclear Suppliers Group Membership.

(Photo : Getty Images) China has once again denied India's bid to be made a member of the NSG.

China on Monday dismissed India's stand that its inclusion in the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) must not be subjected to the signing of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) since France was included into the group without being a signatory of the treaty.    

"When France joined the NSG it was not a party to the NPT: France was the founder member of the NSG so the issue of acceptance to the NSG does not exist," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.  

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Hua's statement on Monday was in response to India's Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Vikas Swarup's remark last week. The Indian minister had stressed the example of inclusion of France in the NSG despite being a non-signatory to the NSG, saying that similar exception must also be implemented in India's case.

China's rebuttal to India's latest NSG stance comes just ahead of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee's three-day visit to China. According to Indian media, Mukherjee is expected to raise the contentious issues of Masood Azhar and India's NSG membership during his visit.

The Chinese response on Monday also comes just a day after Pakistan staked its claim for NSG membership. Pakistan's claim is apparently supported by Beijing.      

India and Pakistan, both nuclear power countries, have been demanding NSG membership for almost a decade now. NSG membership would allow India and Pakistan to import nuclear energy and nuclear-enabled technology from NSG members.          

India got a NSG waiver in 2008, allowing New Delhi to import nuclear energy and nuclear enabled technology from NSG countries without signing the NPT.

China has categorically stated that it will continue to oppose India's NSG membership unless it becomes a signatory to the NPT. China's decision to oppose India's NSG membership is believed to be at the behest of Pakistan, which is staunchly opposed to India's membership due to their unresolved border disputes.

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