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China says world nuke system will collapse if non-NPT India gets NSG berth

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 24-06-2016

The world non-proliferation regime will collapse if non-Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) countries such as India are included in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a top Chinese official has said in Seoul, once again reiterating China’s opposition to New Delhi’s attempt to access the 48-member bloc.

China understands India’s need for clean energy – an argument that Indian diplomats have put forward for inclusion in NSG – but it is not a challenge unique to the country, Wang Qun, Director General of the Department of Arms Control of the Foreign Ministry, said in an emailed statement.

“This is also the common challenges confronting the developing countries. We believe that NPT as the only international non-proliferation legal instrument, is not at odds with the Paris Agreement on climate change. On the contrary, they are mutually reinforcing and supportive,” Wang said. 

“China for its part, understands India’s sentiment on developing nuclear energy to meet climate changes. There are three pillars in the NPT, one of which is to ensure the legitimate rights of country in developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” Wang added. 

China will help India to address its energy needs.

“India had bilateral cooperation with many members of the Group in the field of nuclear energy. And subject to India’s needs, China for its part also stands ready to explore cooperation in this field, so as to help India to address its nuclear energy needs,” Wang said.

Wang reiterated the importance of signing the NPT to become a member of NSG.

“As for the eligibility of new members of the NSG, there are five criteria covering a wide spectrum, from factors of technical to political and legal nature. NPT is a must. In other words, the applicant state shall be party to the NPT. This is a rule not set by China, but reaffirmed by the international community. NPT represents the cornerstone of the entire non-proliferation regime,” Wang said.

“If exceptions are allowed here or there on the question of NPT, the international non-proliferation then will be collapsed altogether,” he said.

Wang said “innovative” ideas were needed to carry forward discussion s on the inclusion of non-NPT countries.

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“As for how to address the issue of non-NPT states’ participation, this is a formidable task. Parties are far apart withing the group. But China’s approach is basically two-fold. On the one hand, the rule of the Group should be respected, as such rules are not targeted against any specific countries,” Wang said.

He elaborated: On the other hand, innovative ideas are called for to forge consensus. To this end, China had pushed the Group to conduct informal discussions under the Argentina Chairmanship. And at this plenary, China once again pushed the group to discuss the issue of non-NPT states’ participation in an innovative format.”

“It should be stressed that such format is not only more formal, but represents a major result achieved at this annual plenary. China commends the leadership role of ROK in its capacity of Chairmanship of the Group, and China for its part has also made its due contribution,” he said.

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