China refuses Russian request for Indian bid to NSG membership

China refuses Russian request for Indian bid to NSG membership

China on Tuesday said it will stick to its “two-step approach” for admitting non- NPT countries such as India into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) while declining to comment on New Delhi’s efforts to urge Moscow to convince Beijing about its bid to join the bloc.

“Since Russia and China share good relations, it should talk to China. We are not asking them to put pressure on China, but use its good offices,” external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said about how India planned to get into the 48-member group that controls trade in nuclear know-how.

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying did not make a direct reference to Swaraj’s statement but reiterated China’s stand on the admission of countries that are signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“The application for accession by non-NPT countries is a multilateral question and should be addressed on the basis of consensus of the NSG members. China and other members, including Russia, maintain close communication and we also maintain that we should act in accordance with the principles of the NSG,” Hua said.

She explained the “two-step approach”, which China proposed last year.

“We have stressed our position many times on this issue. Our position remains unchanged. We support in principle the consensus, transparent and open intergovernmental (resolution of the) problem through the two-step method,” she said.

“First, to reach a non-discriminatory resolution that applies to all non-NPT countries and then to discuss the applications of each non-NPT country. At the plenary session in Bern, China wishes to conduct constructive discussion.”