New Delhi: China's latest statement about a two-step approach in connection with India's membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is nothing new, according to a source.
"China's two-step approach to India's NSG membership is nothing new as it is already happening," the source said.
After having blocked India's bid for membership in the NSG at its plenary in Seoul in June, China on Tuesday said that it was adopting a two-step approach on the issue.
China blocked India's bid on the ground that for a country to be part of the 48-member group, it has to be a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Following delegation-level talks on Tuesday, headed by Amandeep Singh Gill, Joint Secretary (Disarmament & International Security) in the Ministry of External Affairs, and Director General Wang Qun of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Chinese embassy here issued a statement saying Beijing supported the notion of a two-step approach within the NSG to explore a non-discriminatory formula applicable to all non-NPT states.
"On the question of non-NPT states' participation in the NSG, given that it is an issue of major concern to India, China, for its part, shared with India the recent developments as it sees within the Group in relation to the question," the statement said.
"China also shared with India its principled positions and views on the above question," it stated.
"In the meantime, China listened to and had the inputs from India on this issue, and indicated that it will bring such views and inputs back to the Group for its consideration."
It said that China hoped these inputs would help facilitate the relevant discussions within the NSG.
According to the source, this, however, is nothing new as NSG Chairman Rafael Grossi of Argentina has been deputed to continue informal discussions with India on these lines.
"China believes that, compared to 2008, the equations have now changed," the source said.
"India has risen," the source stated, adding that the issue has become one of balancing powers.
In September 2008, the NSG gave a unique waiver to India exempting it from the group's rules governing nuclear trade
The waiver lifted an over three-decade-old world embargo on civilian nuclear trade with India that was imposed after the country conducted a nuclear test in 1974.