Accordingly China on Friday continued to oppose India's entry to the NSG, by saying that global non-
escalation order will collapse if New Delhi joined the group without being a signatory to the NPT. Beijing reiterated that accepting the Non Proliferation Treaty was a must for India to become a member of the elite 48-nation club which regulates global nuclear trade. The opposition to India joining the NSG has been forcefully led by China, which has said that admission to India cannot be allowed without also letting in Pakistan despite questions over its nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation for decades. The NSG, which was created in response to India's first nuclear test in 1974, is committed to preventing nuclear technology from being used for arms. A handful of countries that includes Brazil, Austria and Ireland have said that because India has not signed the Non-Proliferation treaty or NPT, it cannot be shown special preference despite the US openly urging just that.

Neither India nor Pakistan has signed the NPT, generally seen as a prerequisite to NSG membership. Government sources have said that of the 48 members of the NSG, 38 countries broadly backed India. The others said that before a decision can be taken on India, the nuclear bloc must first establish criteria that will be used equally for any applicants who have not signed the non-proliferation treaty.

Switzerland said that India's entry must be discussed in the context of these criteria. On Thursday, Japan raised the Indian issue. It was taken up at a special session though China had said that the membership of non-NPT countries would not be discussed at the plenary.    

Taaza Vaartha

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