Nuclear plant of Electrabel, in Doel
Nuclear plant of Electrabel, in Doel Reuters

A senior official of the US government said that India could not secure a membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group because of China's attempts to block their membership.

The unnamed senior official said that the US would back India and would help them get into the group which presently consists of 48 countries.

At the moment, India has the backing of the US and other western countries and majority countries in the group with the exception of China which has continuously been stonewalling New Delhi's attempts to procure a membership.

The NSG is an elite group of 48 countries which controls nuclear trade. Some countries which belong to this group are the United States, China, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Germany, and Switzerland.

China has maintained that a new member should sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty which makes is difficult for India to join the group since it is not a signatory to the treaty.

The NPT is a treaty which makes the signatory agree that the objective of the is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and promote peaceful cooperation between countries. India, Pakistan, South Sudan, and Israel have never signed this treaty.

Alice Wells, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia was quoted by PTI, telling a Washington audience, " Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a consensus-based organisation. India has not been able to secure membership as a result of opposition from China".

She then replied to a question saying, "We have deemed that we're not going to limit our own cooperation with India based on a Chinese veto. Of course, we moved ahead with an STA One authorisation and we certainly believe that India meets all of the qualifications of the nuclear supplier's group and will continue to actively advocate on behalf of India's membership."

India has been granted the Strategic Trade Authorisation (STA-1) Status with which India is in the inner circle of the US' closest allies.

US would continue backing India and advocating for its membership in the NSG it meets all the criteria required for the membership, according to the US.

Wells said that she hopes the nuclear deal signed with India would bear fruits on its tenth anniversary. The deal was signed between the two countries during George W Bush's tenure as the President and the deal was approved by the US Congress on October 8, 2008.