India has been seeking entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a 48-member elite nuclear club, which controls nuclear trade, but China has repeatedly blocked India’s entry. India has not been able to obtain the membership of the NSG due to China’s veto, a senior Trump Administration official said asserting that the US will continue to advocate for Delhi’s membership.
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While India, which is supported by the US and a number of other countries has accumulated the support of a majority of the NSG’s members, but China has stuck to its notion that new members should first sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), making India’s entry difficult as Delhi is not a signatory to the NPT.
“Nuclear Suppliers Group is a consensus-based organisation. India has not been able to acquire membership as a result of stiff opposition from China,” Alice Wells, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, told a Washington audience.
“We have deemed that we’re not going to limit our own collaboration with India based on a Chinese veto. Of course, we moved ahead with an STA One authorisation and we certainly believe that India meets all of the requirements of the nuclear supplier’s group and will continue to vigorously advocate on behalf of India’s membership,” Wells replied to a question.
She said by granting Strategic Trade Authorisation (STA-1) status, the US has placed India in the core circle of US’ closest allies. “It reflects the intimacy of the strategic partnership,” she said in response to a question.
Wells hoped that the nuclear deal with India would finally see the light of the day with the approaching of its 10th anniversary.
“With Westinghouse coming out of bankruptcy, we now have an opening to cross the finish line to really complete in what was this historic process that began a decade ago to be able to have one of our premier organizations provide in some of the safest and cleanest fuel that will benefit millions of Indian nationals,” she said. “It’s a really another exciting chapter that hopefully, we can close. Certainly, we will be supporting Westinghouse as it continues its conversations with India,” she said.