India needs to get the past the last hurdle in NSG in accepting India into the elite International nuclear technology club. Thus China remained the last major obstacle in the way of India’s membership bid in the Nuclear Suppliers Group as 47 of 48 members supported New Delhi’s application at the group’s special plenary session in Seoul.
The session failed to come to a conclusion after hours of discussions, with China adamant in its opposition. Questions and doubts by other fence-sitting countries dissolved in the course of the evening, leaving China as the last man standing against India. China raised a procedural block early in the day, refusing to admit the India membership issue to be discussed in the meeting. This caused a delay of over five hours, as the members wrestled with an agenda item.
China’s stand might wreck India’s chances this time if Beijing continues to hold out. But the fact that India has mounted such a huge diplomatic exercise will play to India’s advantage going forward. All eyes now will be on the role that the US and other big supporters of India play to help bring China around.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)