The Donald Trump administration has finally endorsed India for a Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership alongwith two other export control groups namely Australia Group and Wassenar Group.
The bid to make India a part of NSG was initiated by the Obama administration and a draft was circulated among the group members last year.
A report in the Economic Times mentions that a US State Department official said that India is ready for NSG membership and also assured that US has not changed its stance on the matter under the new government.
The remarks comes just ahead of the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to China, which has been India’s biggest hurdle in getting a seat in the exclusive club.
However, it is unclear whether Tillerson will discuss the NSG during his trip.
Despite numerous efforts on the government’s part and constant support from the former US President Barack Obama, China has opposed India becoming a part of NSG.
China is advocating a two-step non-discriminatory approach for admission of countries who have not signed the nuclear-Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in the NSG, including India.
New members are usually inducted after signing a NPT or a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). India has signed neither saying that both are discriminatory.
Earlier this month, China had said that India and Pakistan – who had applied for NSG membership together – should be given an equal chance to become members despite India having a cleaner nuclear record.
Ma Xiangwu, Functionary of the Communist Party of China, said that for a peaceful negotiation on NSG, India should make a wise political decision.NSG is a group of 48 nuclear supplier counties that is working towards prevention of nuclear proliferation by controlling exports and technology that can be used to produce nuclear weapons of destruction.