As the Nuclear Suppliers Group plenary in Seoul concluded without progress on India’s bid for membership, diplomats and experts warned of increased India-China tension and tactical instability in South Asia. At the centre of the growing tension, they said, is China’s evident plan to keep India hyphenated to Pakistan.
“China’s diplomacy at NSG indicates its reliance on Pakistan to deal with issues at home like the rise of extremism and anti-Beijing resistance in Xinxiang provincewhere Pakistan has proved to be helpfulin containing opposition to Beijing. Pakistan also helps China by preventing the Organisation of Islamic Countries from criticising China on its policies in Xinxiang. China wants to keep South Asia hyphenated and that will lead to more tense ties with India,” said Ranjit Singh Kalha, former Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs.
The failed bid, Mr. Kalha said will also raise disturbing questions about India’s diplomatic skills, and added, “India turned the bid into a high stakes pursuit with the President of India, Prime Minister Modi and the diplomatic team carrying out multiple missions to engage Beijing; as a result questions will be raised, about what was the hurry to join NSG especially since we have received a waiver in 2008.”‘Expect more incursions’
Gurmeet Kanwal, strategic affairs commentator said the setback at the high table of nuclear diplomacy will lead to increased ‘tactical instability’ with implications for the festering border dispute between India and China. “The NSG session lifted the cloud on who are friendly to India and those who are not. We should expect more incursions from the Chinese and skirmishes on the borders in the coming days though the strategic stability will most likely not be disturbed by China,” Mr Kanwal said.