New Delhi: Despite India's "cleaner record compared to Pakistan", no discrimination should be made while considering their bids to join the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a Communist Party of China official said here on Tuesday.
Ma Xiangwu at the 19th Asian Security Conference at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) said the position of the two countries was "similiar" and both should be given a chance to be part of the elite grouping that controls global atomic commercial activities and technology transfers.
"India and Pakistan position on this issue is similar, if China can vote for India, then why Pakistan cannot be voted in? Pakistan is a friend... It should also be given an opportunity to be voted in," Ma said.
"There should be no discrimination between the two," he said, reiterating China's known argument that has saddled India's NSG bid with the bad track record of Pakistan. That country has allegedly been caught selling atomic weapons technology to Libya.
Asked about India's record on proliferation, Ma acknowledged that "India has a cleaner record compared to Pakistan" but quickly added that "China has its own position, which is consistent."
Beijing opposes India's inclusion in the NSG on the ground that India has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. New members in the grouping are admitted largely if they agree to be part of the NPT or Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). India has signed neither on the ground that the treaties are discriminatory.
Speaking on the border dispute between India and China, Ma said it was "a tricky issue on which there should be a good negotiation between the two countries".
"We need to understand what India wants and what China wants."
Calling negotiations as "the best approach", Ma suggested if India was offering some goodwill at the start of the negotiation, then China will start negotiating.
"It's all about peaceful negotiation to reach objective. China believes that India should make a wise political decision," he added.