Another blow to China as India included in the Wassenaar Arrangement

India entered the Missile Technology Control Regime in June 2016

Yet another diplomatic victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as India has become a member of the Wassenaar Arrangement. India was admitted into the arrangement as the 42nd nation. This has raised India’s status on the global arena and taken India closer to an NSG membership.

The Wassenaar Arrangement is a global grouping that regulates transfer and access to conventional weapons and dual-use technologies.

The MEA spokesperson said this on the historic occasion: “India’s membershipis expected to facilitate high technology tie-ups with Indian industry and ease access to high tech items for our defence and space programmes.The membership would create the grounds for realignment of India in the export control policy framework or other WA members, including eligibility for certain licensing exemptions.”

The formal application to the arrangement was made by the Modi government in 2016. But the work behind the scenes began immediately after Narendra Modi came to power in 2014. Even though India still has to apply for licences for high-tech and dual-use exports, the process will now get much easier.

India entered the Missile Technology Control Regime in June 2016. India now also hopes to be included in the Australia Group. India has now made into the second of four non-proliferation regimes. The important aspect is that China is not a part of three out of four such regimes except the NSG.

India now has hopes that its entry into the NSG which is being blocked by China may become possible. With India entering into two important regimes and the possibility of entering the Australia Group India is hopeful it can leverage these entries to persuade China to stop blocking India’s bid into the NSG. China is too making efforts to enter the MTCR and Wassenaar Arrangement.

In MTCR and Wassenaar, India’s membership was cleared by 35 and 41 countries respectively. Most of these countries are also members in the NSG. Therefore, India’s credentials or its non-NPT status did not come in the way in both of these groupings. What this does is that China’s opposition citing India’s non-NPT status falls flat and exposes that the reason why China is blocking is only because it wants to thwart India’s rise.

This entry into the Wassenaar Arrangement is major victory for India. This highlights the growing clout of India on the global stage. Prime Minister Modi and the whole apparatus in the government must be applauded for this major development.

Vinayak Jain