India's NSG entry will shake strategic balance in South Asia: Chinese media

In a second article in two days, Chinese media highlighted China's vocal opposition to India's entry in NSG membership.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Paul Ryan.

India's entry into the NSG will "shake" the strategic balance in South Asia and make it a "legitimate" nuclear power, leaving behind China's all-weather ally Pakistan, Chinese official media said on Thursday as it kept up its strident stand against India's inclusion in the grouping.

In a second article in as many days, state-run 'Global Times' highlighted China's vocal opposition to India's entry into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and concerns that its all weather-ally Pakistan will be left behind because "entry into the NSG will make it (India) a 'legitimate nuclear power'".

India's entry into the NSG will "shake strategic balance in South Asia and even cast a cloud over peace and stability in the entire Asia-Pacific region", the article said. It, however, said China could support India's inclusion in the nuclear club if it "played by the rules".

"The major goal for India's NSG ambition is to obtain an edge over Islamabad in nuclear capabilities. Once New Delhi gets the membership first, the nuclear balance between India and Pakistan will be broken," said the article written by Fu Xiaoqiang, research fellow with the state-run think tank China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

"Becoming a member of the NSG, a bloc that governs civilian nuclear trade worldwide, will grant India global acceptance as a legitimate nuclear power," said the article.

At the same time, the article said, "New Delhi seems to have inched closer to NSG membership after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gained backing from the US, Swiss and Mexico in its bid to join the elite nuclear club earlier this month."

"However, as a country that has signed neither the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) nor the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), India is not yet qualified for accession into the NSG," it said.

"That's why the bloc is still divided over the case, and countries including New Zealand, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa and Austria have expressed their firm objections to India's membership," it said.

A commentary in the same daily on June 14 had said that India's admission into the NSG would "jeopardise" China's national interest and touch a "raw nerve" in Pakistan.

"If it joins the group, New Delhi will be able to import civilian nuclear technology and fuels from the international market more conveniently, while saving its domestic nuclear materials for military use," said the article in the Global Times, a tabloid daily which is part of the ruling Communist Party of China group of publications headed by People's Daily.

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