Why China does not want India to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group
It is very important for India to get into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) because, our future energy needs depends on it. However, there is a huge blockade called China, which under no circumstances wants India to join this group of nations, who are principal “supplier countries that seek to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of two sets of Guidelines for nuclear exports and nuclear-related exports.” At present, almost all countries support India’s entry except China who sees India as its challenger and main rival in Asia.
But the spirited foreign policy campaign of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last two years has now put India within a striking distance along with the support of United States of America to get into NSG and this has created a panic situation in Pakistan forcing it to approach other countries who already are supporting India. Already the Pakistanis and the Chinese are upset because somehow India is now a member of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) which will now allow India to sell BrahMos cruise missile to other countries, particularly in South East Asia and that will tip the balance in the South China Sea where China is hugely disliked and feared.
But the real reasons for China’s insistence on the exclusion of India from the NSG is Pakistan, a nation which has a long history in smuggling and proliferation of nuclear technology and the components need to build powerful nuclear warheads. China wants Pakistan to also get a seat in the NSG club because it wants to maintain a buffer and also keep India’s foreign policy and defense policy Pakistan centric, so there will always be strategic imbalance between China and India. But the fact is every other country who are members of NSG supports India and does not want Pakistan to get access to more nuclear materials, equipment technology because as per Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Pakistan continues to be ahead of India when it comes to having higher number of nuclear warheads and beats Israel as well as North Korea. Pakistan applied for membership in 2016 with China’s support but given its track record of selling nuclear secrets to countries like North Korea, Libya, and Iran, it is safe to assume the rest of the members will not support Pakistan’s entry into NSG because it is an irresponsible nuclear weapons state.
Right now there are 48 member countries that have the right to veto any new nations joining NSG, and China clearly likes to use this power to lord over India. But this is not the first time this has happened because China being a permanent member of the United Nations Security Consul just recently used its veto power to block Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad and its chief Masood Azhar from being banned; sighting the decision was taken on the bases of “facts” and “procedure” but in general, China is against all forms of terrorism as long as it emanates from Pakistan to hurt India since it has huge strategic and economic stake in the form of China-Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC)
For China, any strategic gain by India is detrimental to its designs in South East Asia and the Indian Ocean Region where it wants to dominate. However with India developing Chabahar Port in Iran which will give us the gateway to Afghanistan, Central Asia, and the Caspian Sea is major Geo-strategic. The distance between Chabahar Port to Gwadar Port is only 170 kilometers which are located in the restive Baluchistan region and India’s “look east” policy is to develop the closer relationship with its South East Asia Neighbors like Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia, having left China feel the pinch.
The only technical reason the Chinese have to stop India from getting into NSG is that we are not signatories to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). However, some of the past member countries like France joined NSG without signing NPT which is the precedence India sights and its long record of maintaining its integrity with its own nuclear program unlike Pakistan who has been caught with its hand in the Cooke jar for clandestinely selling nuclear technology to rogue state like North Korea and in return getting nuclear capable ballistic missile technology which is prohibited under MTCR. Also, if India signs the NPT it will seriously compromise its national security since it will have to give up its nuclear arsenals and when you are surrounded by two neighbors with whom India have fought wars, it would be illogical. Plus we will be at the mercy of other nuclear power nations to protect us and in return make deals which will cost us dearly.
China knows this which is why it is forcing the NPT card on the table because India will never sign the NPT under the current clauses. It also knows that its lackey, Pakistan will also never sign the NPT thus making this whole action of India moot or both countries join after signing the NPT making it a win-win situation for China. So to propose Pakistan’s name to become a member of NSG as precursor knowing fully the other countries will say no to, will than give China the opportunity to state that by letting India into the NSG, it will create an unstable security dynamics in Asia and would lead to nuclear race. India is now a very fast growing economy and has a growing energy need. Since the world is fast moving towards clean energy and nuclear energy constitutes as one of the most important sources of clean energy which will fulfill our growing need.
The Countries who are the permanent members of NSG are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States.