News / Asia

Nuclear States Divided on India Joining Export Control Group

FILE - Police patrol on a beach near Kudankulam nuclear power plant project in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, September 12, 2012.FILE - Police patrol on a beach near Kudankulam nuclear power plant project in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, September 12, 2012.
x
FILE - Police patrol on a beach near Kudankulam nuclear power plant project in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, September 12, 2012.
FILE - Police patrol on a beach near Kudankulam nuclear power plant project in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, September 12, 2012.
Reuters
The United States and three other big powers this week argued for allowing nuclear-armed India into an atomic export control group, but China and several European states appeared doubtful about the move, diplomats said on Wednesday.

They said the divisions were in evidence during closed-door talks of the 46-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group on the sensitive issue of whether India could join and become the NSG's only member that is outside the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The United States, France, Britain and Russia were among those which backed membership for India - Asia's third-largest economy - while smaller European states such as Ireland, the Netherlands and Switzerland had reservations, the envoys said.

China stressed the need for equal treatment in South Asia, an apparent reference to its ally Pakistan, which also is outside the NPT and also has tested atomic bombs, they said. One diplomat said Japan also appeared lukewarm on the idea.

The tone of Monday's informal debate in Vienna suggested that the controversial issue will not be ready for a decision at the NSG's next annual plenary session, to be held in the Czech capital of Prague in June. NSG decisions are made by consensus.

"There are several countries in each camp. I'm not sure how it can be moved forward," another envoy said.

But a different diplomat said that while "a number of countries have continued doubts," they did not categorically rule out that India, which has yet to apply, could eventually become a member.

The NSG - which includes the United States, Russia, China, European Union countries and some others - is a cartel that tries to ensure that civilian nuclear exports are not diverted for military purposes.

In 2010, Washington announced backing for India joining.

But Pakistan - which has been trying to move closer to Asian powerhouse China as Islamabad's ties with Washington have suffered - has warned against allowing its rival into the NSG.

India and Pakistan - which have fought three wars - have both refused to sign the 189-nation NPT, which would oblige them to scrap nuclear weapons.

Close relations between China and Pakistan reflect a longstanding shared wariness of their common neighbor, India, and a desire to counter U.S. influence across the region.

Nuclear 'prestige'

Those in favor of India joining say it is better if the country is inside than outside the NSG, as it already is an advanced nuclear energy power and will in the future become a significant exporter as well, one of the diplomats who attended the discussions said.

Those which are skeptical argue it could undermine the NPT, which is a cornerstone of global nuclear disarmament efforts.

"There are differences of opinion on allowing non-NPT members into the NSG," said another diplomat.

Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie Endowment think-tank said some "worried that India will use its voice to reverse the NSG's gears and loosen export controls, since India has not demonstrated a firm historical commitment" to its mission.

To receive civilian nuclear exports, nations that are not one of the five officially recognized atomic weapons states usually must place their nuclear activities under the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency, NSG rules say.

When the United States sealed a nuclear supply deal with India in 2008 that China and others found questionable because Delhi is outside the NPT, Washington won an NSG waiver from that rule after contentious negotiations.

The landmark civilian nuclear cooperation agreement ended India's atomic isolation following its 1974 nuclear test and could mean billions of dollars in business for U.S. firms.

India gained access to technology and fuel while it was allowed to continue its nuclear weapons program.

Pakistan wants a similar civilian nuclear agreement with the United States to help meet its growing energy needs.

Washington is reluctant, however, largely because a Pakistani nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, admitted in 2004 to transferring nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran and Iraq.

Nuclear expert Daryl Kimball said India wanted to join the NSG because of prestige but that this would undercut the group's ability to ensure that New Delhi respects the non-proliferation commitments it made to win support for the 2008 exemption.

"Those commitments included no further nuclear weapons testing, compliance with site-specific safeguards, and support for a fissile material production moratorium," said Kimball, of the Washington-based Arms Control Association.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, even music are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. Faith Lapidus narrates a report from VOA’s June Soh.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, even music are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. Faith Lapidus narrates a report from VOA’s June Soh.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid