OPINION | When China Decides for India - NSG & SCO?
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OPINION | When China Decides for India - NSG & SCO?

By Amrita Jash
Editor-in-Chief, IndraStra Global

OPINION | When China Decides for India - NSG & SCO?

Although India has proved its mettle as an emerging power, but it has been a long haul for India to win membership at two big platforms- the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which still remains a question mark. The common abstaining factor at both fronts is China. Given its long-standing in the membership queue, the parallel dynamics of NSG meeting at Seoul and SCO Summit at Tashkent on June 23-24, will decide the fate of India, wherein the decisive role rests in the hands of China.  

In its defense, India has already got its waiver from most of the big nations such as United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and others for its bid at the 48-member NSG and similarly, India also received a green signal from the SCO members, but the exception lies with China- to play a constructive role in the final decision-making.    

China so far has blocked India’s membership at both NSG and SCO, mostly playing the rhetorical Pakistan card. Though Pakistan is just a proxy in real terms, but China has calculatively succeeded so far in abstaining India’s bid with a conditional Pakistan bid for membership. This action has automatically nullified India’s call for membership till today. But will China succeed in playing the same card in the current time remains uncertain.   

In this context, China’s abstention of India at the two critical junctures of NSG and SCO calls for deliberation. First, at NSG, the problem lies with China as India despite being non-party to the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has already paved its way into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) club where China still remains a stranger. The NPT condition has often been emphasized by Beijing as a crucial factor to block India’s entry into NSG, but India’s MTCR entry does provide some legitimacy to India’s bid for NSG. Moreover, this time India’s bid for NSG membership is strongly defended by the big powers (US and Russia). So, for China to act in opposition will run in contrast to its own interest in great power diplomacy. And if China resumes to use the Pakistan card at NSG, it will automatically raise questions on China’s own credibility. For China’s role as a responsible global actor will be questioned given its recommendation of Pakistan owing to Pakistan’s past track record of being unstable and irresponsible in global domain.    

Secondly, at SCO, the problem lies with India. Although India’s full membership have been ratified after the 2015 Ufa Summit, but there still remains some skepticism. With 2016 Tashkent Summit, India has finally made it as an SCO member but this step can be seen as only an inch closer to the realization of full membership. This can be said so as the path to India’s full membership will come with caveats in terms of the scope of India’s role in SCO, wherein it is likely to witness China’s reluctant attitude by exercising obligations on India. For at SCO, China will always remain at the apex of decision-making.    

Therefore, at both junctures, what lies ahead for India is totally in the hands of China. If Beijing plays a constructive role in defining India’s membership at NSG and SCO, this will automatically raise the bars of China-India relations to a new high. Though it is multilateralism at play, but Sino-Indian bilateral nexus will get an automatic push-pull effect by China’s catalytic role. Hence, given these dynamics at play, it remains the watch of the hour to witness the direction in which China is likely to pull the strings vis-à-vis India to ensure New Delhi’s long quest for membership at both NSG and SCO.

About the Author:

Amrita Jash (TR RID: K-5665-2015) is Editor-in-Chief at IndraStra Global, New York-U.S.A. She has published in various national and international journals and discussion forums. Her research interests are: China’s foreign policy, security and strategic issues. She is also a Doctoral Candidate in Chinese Studies at the Centre for East Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi-India. She has pursued M.Phil in Chinese Studies (2013) and M.A. in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She can be reached at: www.amritajash.in or @amritajash

Cite this Article:

Jash, A. "OPINION | When China Decides for India - NSG and SCO?" IndraStra Global Vol. 002, Issue No: 06 (2016) 0042,  http://www.indrastra.com/2016/06/OPINION-When-China-Decides-for-India-002-06-2016-0042.html | ISSN 2381-3652 | 

AIDN0020620160042 / INDRASTRA / ISSN 2381-3652