NEW DELHI: INDIA on Thursday reacted sharply to China’s comment that the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership cannot be a “farewell” gift for countries to give one another. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) asserted that it was not seeking entry into the NSG as a gift, but based on its non-proliferation record. China had on Tuesday said admission of non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatories to the NSG cannot be “farewell gift” after an outgoing US President Barak Obama’s team member called Beijing an “outlier” in bringing New Delhi to the fold of the elite nuclear club. “Our views on India’s membership of the NSG are clear and have been stated on many occasions before. India is not seeking it on its non-proliferation record,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said here. China has been refusing to budge from its stand obstructing India’s application and at the same time linking it with Pakistan’s entry to the 48-member grouping.
Both the countries are non-NPT signatories and China has been harping that a process needs to be evolved. While Pakistan has invited international censure over its nuclear scientists pilfering nuclear technology to North Korea, India has remained impeccable in its non-proliferation record. “I, of course, cannot speak for other applicants,” Swarup added obliquely referring to Pakistan’s bid to gain entry into the NSG riding on China’s support. Beijing has been the only country opposing New Delhi’s’ candidature. US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal, had said on India’s NSG membership bid, "Clearly there is one outlier that needs to be addressed and that is China.” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying responded by saying: "I just want to point out that NSG membership shall not be some kind of (a) farewell gift for countries to give to each other.”