India has to comply with nuclear non-proliferation rules and have an independent foreign policy for China to support its bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), state media said on Thursday, laying down the rules for New Delhi to fulfil its aspiration.
New Delhi is not qualified to be a member of the NSG but is inching closer to entering the nuclear trading group with Washington’s support so as “to obtain an edge over Islamabad in nuclear capabilities”, said an opinion piece in the nationalistic tabloid Global Times.
China can push India’s case too but there are riders, it said, indicating that becoming the US’s military ally will not help New Delhi’s case with Beijing.
“As long as all NSG members reach a consensus over how a non-NPT member could join the NSG, and India promises to comply with stipulations over the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons while sticking to its policy of independence and self-reliance, China could support New Delhi’s path toward the club,” said the piece by Fu Xiaoqiang of the influential state-run think tank, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR).
The state-controlled media has focussed on India’s NSG bid and China’s position but has been looking at the issue through the Pakistan prism – how Islamabad will lose out if New Delhi enters the nuclear club, and If India can become a member, why can’t Pakistan?
“Once New Delhi gets the membership first, the nuclear balance between India and Pakistan will be broken. As a result, Pakistan’s strategic interests will be threatened, which will in turn shake the strategic balance in South Asia, and even cast a cloud over peace and stability in the entire Asia-Pacific region,” the article said.
“Yet before that, a fair and just principle must be made through common consensus of all current members of the NSG, rather than US and India’s reckless pushing at the cost of rule-breaking.”