11:18 am - Wednesday April 21, 2021

Should China be Expelled from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

Should China be Expelled from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

 

Communist China started its nuclear program in 1955 and conducted its first nuclear weapons test in October 1964. Since then, Communist China has superficially professed to have a “No First Use” (NFU) doctrine. However, nobody finds the Chinese NFU pledge sacrosanct, verifiable and credible because China has an established behavior pattern of signing multilateral and bilateral treaties and reneging them later on when it is convenient for it. Communist China was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons state (NWS) per Treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT) when it was opened for signatures in 1968.

Communist China still had not joined the NPT when its entry into force came in 1970. After this initial refusal to join the NPT, Communist China finally acceded to it only in May 1992 after the last of the hold-out from the five NWS France acceded to it in 1992. Communist China’s nuclear proliferation credentials have been poor consistently despite it being part of the NPT both before and after it acceded to the NPT.

Communist China is mainly instrumental in transferring ring magnets, nuclear technology and HEU to Pakistan and conducted Pakistan’s first nuclear weapons test in 1990 in China’s Lop Nur test range. Chinese weapons designs were turned over by Libya to IAEA when it decided to shut down its illegal nuclear program. Communist China is also instrumental in proliferating nuclear technology to its next-door neighbor Democratic People’s Republic of Korea that finally resigned from the NPT after giving one year’s notice.

Communist China has signed the CTBT but has refused to ratify it so far. Communist China eventually became a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in 2004 and made commitments to limit its nuclear proliferation activities. It agreed to become a responsible member of nuclear non-proliferation community as a nuclear weapons state. The stated aim of the NSG Guidelines is to ensure that nuclear trade for peaceful purposes does not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, and that international trade and cooperation in the nuclear field is not hindered unjustly in the process.

Despite that it has continued to proliferate nuclear technology and materials horizontally to Pakistan under the façade of previously grand-fathered contractual agreements. Over the years, Communist China has refused to participate in any nuclear disarmament and arms reduction measures and has demanded that both US and Russia should first bring down their nuclear assets to Communist China’s level before it will participate.

Communist China continues its vertical nuclear proliferation both in terms of the nuclear warheads as well as the weapon delivery systems. Communist China has rapidly expanded its nuclear and conventional missile forces over the past decade, nearly tripling its ballistic missile production capability and deploying a wide array of nuclear and conventional missile systems.

According to the US Department of Defense Report released in September 2020, Communist China is likely to double its nuclear warheads in the next decade. Analysts have criticized the Pentagon for under-estimating the Chinese nuclear posture for years. Both Russian and Taiwanese strategic experts believe that Communist China already possesses thousands of nuclear weapons that it refuses to acknowledge. Since 2012, when the current Chinese strongman Chairman Xi Jinping came into power, Communist China’s nuclear posture has metamorphosed from initial “Credible Minimal Deterrence” to limited deterrence and now moderate deterrence. Since 2013, Chinese analysts and military officials have debated about watering down China’s NFU doctrine with multiple exceptions being carved out.

Recently, US and Russia extended the New START treaty for five more years on February 4th 2021, just one day before it was due to expire. Communist China refused to be party to the New START treaty though the previous US administration was trying hard for Communist China to be included in this important nuclear arms control mechanism. This five-years’ one-time extension is now the only remaining arms control treaty between US and Russia since 1972.

In a report to the US Congress, the previous US administration acknowledged that it believed that Communist China was very close to violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by refusing to join the US in the New START nuclear arms reduction talks with Russia. Per report, Communist China was not in compliance with its Article VI obligations under the NPT.

Marshal Billingslea, a special US presidential envoy for arms control wrote to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 14th 2021 emphasizing that it would be essential for the new US administration to continue to apply the full range of diplomatic, economic and defensive measures to bring Communist China to the negotiating table. Mr. Billingslea affirmed that the world is witnessing the single greatest expansion of a nuclear arsenal (by Communist China) since the dawn of the Cold War!

Despite, providing lip-service to the cause of early negotiations and conclusions of the FMCT, there has been a rapid expansion of the Chinese plutonium and uranium production plants. Communist China’s nuclear testing site at Lop Nur recently began round-the-clock operations suggesting that nuclear testing work has been stepped up.China has been accused by the US officials of cheating on the proposed CTBT norms and violating the guidelines on nuclear testing.

Meanwhile, Communist China has persistently blocked India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group on the specious argument that India is not a party to the NPT. Communist China has also become an ardent advocate for simultaneous entry for its client state Pakistan to the NSG despite Pakistan’s horrendous record of nuclear proliferation of the notorious AQ Khan network. Logical question before the NSG is Communist China’s abdication of its nuclear non-proliferation responsibilities under the article six of the NPT for the nuclear reduction and arms control. Article VI of the NPT categorically states: Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control”.

Clearly, by its stubborn refusal to join the US and Russia in the five-year extension of the New START treaty in February 2021, Communist China has defaulted in its non-proliferation commitments to the NSG that it made in 2004 when it joined the NSG. Although all the decisions in the NSG are made by consensus, the current Chinese defiance of the NSG guidelines and the blatant violation of the article VI of the NPT calls for extra-ordinary measures.

A legal, logical and rational case can be made for a summary expulsion of Communist China from the NSG in its next plenary meeting. The current chair of the NSG, Werner Bauwens, special envoy of the Kingdom of Belgium, must bring China’s default to the notice of the NSG troika and involve the NSG point of contact, the Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna into calling for an extra-ordinary meeting of the NSG. Communist China must not be allowed to have its nuclear cake and eat it too by the international community. The NSG must keep in mind Communist China’s serious and blatant violations of the nuclear non-proliferation norms set by the NSG, NPT, CTBT and the FMCT aspirations that it agreed to adhere to.

Anything short of expulsion of Communist China from the NSG will betray the cause of nuclear non-proliferation and will be disastrous for the whole world. As the current Chairman of the NSG, Bauwens of the Kingdom of Belgium clearly states: “with strong roots and a clear purpose, the NSG will stay on course and play its role in nuclear non-proliferation”. The NSG must get its act together and adhere to its nuclear non-proliferation goals and high standards! The NSG must do the right thing about Communist China’s violation of nuclear non-proliferation standards and norms.

 

Image Source: Jagran Josh

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One Response to “Should China be Expelled from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)”

  1. March 15, 2021 at 12:15 pm #

    Excellent exposition.
    China is a rogue country. Sooner is it dismembered, the better.

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