People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party of China, on Monday described Indo-US nuclear deal a "major blow" to non-proliferation, apparently reflecting the Chinese government's thinking on the issue.
The article criticised the "multiple standards" followed by the US on the issue of nuclear non-proliferation when it agreed to sign the deal with India, a view that could be worrying to New Delhi, which is trying to get the deal approved by the Nuclear Suppliers' Group at its meeting in early September.
"Irrespective of the fate of the US-India nuclear agreement, the United States' multiple standards on non-proliferation issues have met with a skeptical world," the article written by a scholar of a state-run think-tank, said.
New Delhi needs NSG approval urgently because it will need to be further ratified by the US Congress before it adjourns in September end to prepare for the Presidential elections.
"Whether it is motivated by geopolitical considerations or commercial interests, the US-India nuclear agreement has constituted a major blow to the international
non-proliferation regime," the paper said in the opinion pages of its Monday edition, ahead of the September 4 meeting of the 45-member NSG.
China so far had not taken a negative position either in the meetings of the International Atomic Energy Agency or the NSG but it is also not clear if Beijing will openly oppose the deal at the NSG meeting or merely refuse to back it actively.