Opposition to India’s entry?
- India’s membership to the MTCR was blocked by Italy in 2015. It was considered to be linked to the standoff between India and Italy over the detention of the two Italian marines. This hurdle got removed with the return of the second marine to Rome in May, 2016.
- India agreed to join the Hague Code of Conduct, dealing with the ballistic missile non-proliferation arrangement. This increased its chances of getting membership into the MTCR.
How will India benefit by its membership?
- India in now a part of the decision-making process for governing the global commerce of goods with implications for both missile and space development.
- Ever since it got a waiver at the NSG in 2008, India intensified its efforts in gaining membership of the MTCR, NSG, the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement.
- Membership of these groups would help India trade more effectively in critical high tech areas.
- It will help India to buy high-end missile and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology and also enhance its joint ventures with Russia.
- India can also acquire the hitherto denied technology for developing cryogenic engines which are crucial for space explorations.
What will be India’s obligations as a member?
- It is obliged to follow a ‘no undercut’ policy. This means that if one member denies the sale of some technology to another country, then all members must adhere.
- It is supposed to contribute not only to the plenary meeting but also to its forums.
- It is also supposed to share information regarding missile technology trends and proliferation threat.
Why is China not happy?
- China is not a member of the regime. It has been trying for the last 12 years to gain membership but has not succeeded because of concerns about China’s export control standards.
- India’s membership will allow it to legally sell its missiles to others, particularly to countries in Asia. Vietnam is ready to buy BrahMos from India. This will pose a threat to Chinese ambitions in the Indian Ocean. In practice, India’s export policies regarding such items are likely to only become stricter with the membership.
- There is a fear that India could use its membership to block the entry of China and Pakistan to the club as all decisions are taken by consensus.