Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) Entry

Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) Entry

China refuses to budge, says India must sign NPT to gain entry into NSGIOCR


Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), MTCR, Australia Group

Mains level: Importance of joining NSG and other export control regimes by India


  • P5 countries have recently concluded their meetings to discuss issues related to nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

China maintains Status-quo

  1. China has once again refused to dilute its stand on India’s entry into the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
  2. It asserted that New Delhi must sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty to gain entry as there is no precedent for the inclusion of non-NPT countries.

Reasons cited

  1. China has been opposing India’s entry into the 48-member NSG on the ground that India is not a signatory to the NPT.
  2. The other P5 members, including the US and Russia backed its case based on New Delhi’s non-proliferation record.
  3. China along with P5 has decided to uphold the NPT mechanism.

Pakistan: the elephant in the room

  1. China has sought to club India and Pakistan together, on the basis of both being non-signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  2. It has asked the NSG countries to adopt a “criteria-based approach” — which essentially means that either both can get into the group or none.
  3. But most of the NSG countries, including the US, France and UK, make a clear distinction between India and Pakistan’s nuclear non-proliferation track record.

Why NSG for India?

  1. The NSG is the top club of countries which controls access to technology and guards against proliferation. Its membership is important for India to access cutting-edge high technology.
  2. Pakistan has violated all norms of nuclear non-proliferation and had links with the North Korean nuclear programme.


P5+1 Countries

  1. The P5+1 refers to the UN Security Council’s five permanent members (the P5); namely China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; plus Germany.
  2. It is a group of six world powers which, in 2006, joined together in diplomatic efforts with Iran with regard to its nuclear program.
Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) Entry

NSG membership for India unlikely this year

  1. What: India’s hopes of a membership of the NSG this year were virtually dashed after the NSG meeting in Vienna ended inconclusively
  2. India and the U.S. had been keen to make progress on the application before the end of President Barack Obama’s tenure
  3. Background: India’s hopes of a membership had been raised after the Seoul meeting in June
  4. The NSG chair’s had mandated Argentine diplomat Rafael Grossi with working on a consensus amongst members on India’s application
  5. However, the “Grossi process” as it was called faltered after China refused to recognise it
Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) Entry

U.S. to help India in NSG entry

  1. US Ambassador to India: US will push for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group when the issue is taken up later this year at the highest levels
  2. Context: The Obama administration will hold its last round of the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) with India in August
  3. Agenda: NSG membership issue will be discussed
  4. There’s also a hope within the government that the U.S. will take up India’s case at the highest levels, i.e. between President Obama and President Xi, possibly during their upcoming meeting at G-20 next week
  5. From the past: In 2008, former President George Bush’s phone call to former Chinese President Hu Jintao swung a waiver from the NSG in India’s favour
Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) Entry

Nuclear suppliers’ insurance policy unveiled

  1. News: The country’s first Nuclear Suppliers’ insurance policy is unveiled by India Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP)
  2. Agency: New India Assurance Co and INIP will issue the policy and administer the claims on behalf of the pool
  3. INIP is the 27th global nuclear insurance pool which was launched by General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re), in association with non-life insurance companies
  4. The pool provides capacity for insurance coverage to operators and suppliers for any nuclear liability towards third party
Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) Entry

No decision taken on India’s NSG bid

  1. News: No decision on India’s application for membership at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was taken, as the session concluded
  2. At least 32 out of 48 countries had made positive interventions on India’s behalf
  3. However, NSG’s decisions are governed by consensus (100% votes) and not by majority
  4. Context: India has been trying to get an NSG membership to ease access to nuclear supplies
  5. However, India has traditionally opposed Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) stating that it is discriminatory
  6. Opposition: According to China, only those countries should be granted membership, who are signatory to NPT
  7. Others who raised a similar opposition were Austria, Ireland, New Zealand and Switzerland
  8. Some nations like Brazil and Turkey called for a ‘criteria-based‘ process to be put in place first
Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) Entry

China to insulate bilateral ties with India from the debate on NSG entry

  1. News: China wants India’s application to Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) entry to be separate from the bilateral ties
  2. According to China, a decision would be made through thorough discussion within the NSG group
  3. Meeting between Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping ended without a statement of support from China
  4. Background: China is opposing India’s entry into NSG as India has not signed Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) Entry

India seeks immediate NSG membership

  1. China: Although parties are not yet completely clear on the issue of entry of non-NPT countries in NSG, discussions help them better understand each other
  2. China hopes to further discuss this issue and will play a constructive role in the discussions
  3. India: There have been several such rounds, not just three since 2011
  4. Also, China’s remarks indicate a shift from its previous stand ruling out any discussions on the subject until a criteria-based process was put into place to allow all non-NPT members in, including Pakistan
  5. However, an unofficial discussion is not enough and India is seeking immediate membership to the NSG, not long-drawn discussions
Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) Entry

NSG: Modi seeks Moscow route to China- II

  1. India needs Russia’s help as it is moving as a mediator between India and China
  2. Though Russia is supportive to India but it will also use its influence with countries like Kazakhstan and Turkey
  3. Concern: At the meeting of India, Russia and China in April, the three countries hammered out an acceptable formulation on the contentious South China Sea
  4. But India omitted the explicit reference to the South China Sea in the joint statement with the U.S. last week as well
Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) Entry

NSG: Modi seeks Moscow route to China

  1. Context: PM will meet Russian president for its support to India in NSG
  2. Reason: China has maintained a division of nations within the group who agree China’s stance
  3. Occasion: PM will meet Chinese and Russian President in SCO meeting later in this month
  4. Shanghai Cooperation Agreement(SCO): A six-member Central Asian grouping seen as a counterpoint to the US-European military bloc NATO
  5. PM Modi will also meet Kazakh’s President as a final attempt to push India’s membership
Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) Entry

After Switzerland, Mexico extends support to India for NSG membership

  1. Both Mexico and Switzerland also announced support for India’s membership of NSG
  2. PM Modi is on a trip to these countries & it was aimed at garnering their backing for the NSG
  3. Why? Both countries have held strong positions on no-proliferation in the past, very much like India
  4. USA: India has shown strong support for the objectives of the NSG and the global nuclear nonproliferation regime and is a ‘like-minded’ state deserving of NSG admission
  5. US support is a part of its commitment from the 2008 civilian nuclear deal to help India win access to international nuclear regimes
Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) Entry

India seeks help of friends for Nuclear Suppliers Group entry

  1. Context: China has announced to block India’s membership for NSG
  2. Membership of NPT is a precondition for any new membership of the NSG
  3. Criticism: India has traditionally opposed the NPT as a discriminatory instrument and did not sign
  4. PM will discuss the issue with Switzerland, the U.S. and Mexico which are part of his five-nation trip
  5. Mexico and Switzerland are known as “non-proliferation hardliners” who constitute a strong group in the NSG
  6. Nuclear Suppliers Group: Group of countries which controls supply of nuclear material and technology in the world
Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) Entry

U.S. snubs Pakistan on India’s NSG bid

  1. Context: US views about India’s membership application to the NSG and opposition to it by Pakistan on the grounds that this would give pace to nuclear arms race in the region
  2. US: It is not about an arms race, but about peaceful use of nuclear energy & we hope Pak understands that
  3. NSG membership: NSG is a consensus body & deliberations about the prospects of new members joining the NSG are an internal matter among the current members
Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) Entry

China harps on consensus for India’s NSG bid

  1. Context: China harped on the need for consensus in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)
  2. China’s stance comes notwithstanding the United States’ strong backing for India to join the NSG
  3. On the other hand, China is reportedly pushing for Pakistan’s entry into NSG
  4. China: The NSG has made serious political and technical standards with regard to accepting members
  5. NPT: One compulsory standard is that the NSG members must be signatory states to the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

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