India hasn't been able to secure membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) because of China's veto, a Trump Administration official said today, asserting that the US will continue advocating for India's membership in the group as it meets all the criteria.
Notably, India has been seeking entry into the 48-member elite club, which controls nuclear trade, but China has repeatedly stonewalled its bid.
China wants new members to sign Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
While India, which is backed by the US and a number of western countries has garnered the support of a majority of the group's members, China has stuck to its stand that new members should sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), making India's entry difficult as the group is guided by the consensus principle.
India is not a signatory to the NPT.
India meets all qualifications of NSG: US
"We have deemed that we're not going to limit our own cooperation with India based on a Chinese veto," said Alice Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia.
"Of course, we moved ahead with an STA-1 (Strategic Trade Authorization) and we certainly believe India meets all of the qualifications of the Nuclear Supplier's Group," she added.
US says it placed India in inner-circle of American allies
Wells said by granting STA-1 status, the US has placed India in the inner circle of America's closest allies. "It reflects just the intimacy of the strategic partnership," she said, addressing an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a top American think-tank.
Wells talks about the Indo-US nuclear deal
The senior State Department Official hoped that the nuclear deal with India would finally see the light of the day with the approaching of its 10th anniversary.
Wells said with Westinghouse coming out of bankruptcy, US now has an opportunity "to have one of our premier companies provide in some of the safest and cleanest fuel that will benefit tens of millions of Indians."