Seoul: India on Friday failed in its determined bid to clinch membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in the face of strong China-led opposition after which it gave vent to its unhappiness over the hurdles created by Beijing.
In a clear setback to its efforts to join the 48-nation grouping, a two-day NSG plenary ended here after deciding against accepting India's membership application.
China, which had made no secret of its opposition, succeeded in scuttling India's bid despite a significant majority backing the Indian case. Thirty-eight countries supported India, according to Indian officials.
Beijing was unrelenting in thwarting India despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Tashkent on Thursday to support India's case on its merits.
An upset India later accused "one country", a clear reference to China, of persistently creating procedural hurdles during the discussions on its application.
"We understand that despite procedural hurdles persistently raised by one country, a three-hour-long discussion took place last night on the issue of future participation in the NSG," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
"The NSG plenary in Seoul earlier in the day decided against granting India membership of the grouping immediately and said it will continue to have discussions on participation of countries which have not signed the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
"An overwhelming number of those who took the floor supported India's membership and appraised India's application positively. We thank each and every one of them. It is also our understanding that the broad sentiment was to take this matter forward," he said.
Besides China, countries like Brazil, Switzerland, Turkey, Austria, Ireland, New Zealand were also opposed to India's entry because it is not a signatory to Nuclear non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
In its statement, at the conclusion of the plenary, NSG declared its "firm support" for the "full, complete and effective" implementation of the NPT as the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime.
However, it said it had discussions on the issue of 'Technical, Legal and Political Aspects of the Participation of non-NPT States in the NSG' and decided to continue its discussion.
Confirming that the India's application was discussed during the two-day deliberations, the statement, under a sub-heading 'Outreach', said it shared information on all aspects of the 2008 statement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India and discussed the NSG relationship with India.
Defending its opposition to entry of non-NPT countries like India into NSG, Chinese Foreign Ministry said it was guided by the rules of the 48-nation grouping which were not directed against any specific country.
It also advocated an "out of the box" thinking to arrive at a consensus over the issue of entry of non-NPT countries into NSG.
"China wants two things; we must abide by the rules of NSG because these kind of rules are not directed against any specific country. We must strive for consensus by thinking out of the box," Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a briefing in Beijing.
Earlier, Wang Qun, Director General of China's Department of Arms Control, told reporters here that for a country to be a member of NSG, signing of NPT "is a must" and warned "if exceptions are allowed here or there on the question of NPT, the international non-proliferation will collapse altogether".