NSG is not worth the effort but process wise it’s important to make the effort to enter. Good Indo-US relations are worth the effort. If US does not involve itself in Asia, India, Japan and others can’t do anything about China.
China does not forget, it will never forget it’s century of humiliation before 1949 and Chinese are very hard working people and PLA is a party state army, the only army that serves a political party before a nation. Japan, Vietnam, south Korea will never compromise with China and NATO obliges US to support them. If Asian allies are not supported, Germany and France will start doubting NATO and it will start to unravel.
US will involve itself in Asia. India, Afghanistan and Iran would be better off with US. Russia and China have shifted from the days of US-Russia reset and US-China G2 which was in India’s best interest. China-Pak need not be reiterated. Its deeper. The weather has changed. India needs a US umbrella now. NSG is not the least bit strategic but the strategic involves NSG. China knows that, that’s why it has been totally successful in making Indian membership to NSG a high premium affair while she knows that NSG membership adds no substantial material value to india’s nuclear program which is already supplied well due to the 2008 waiver.
The whole idea is to make India work so hard for the low hanging fruit that her political capital with China is reduced for future higher strategic issues like trade imbalance, China-Pak, china’s blocking of India centric terrorists and India-US relations. And No India couldn’t have played it cool with NSG. China is doing this because she can. This is power politics. If India does not get this, China’s political capital with India might diminish. Let’s hope our oft labelled great friends Russians can lobby to their Chinese friends. Americans would have to take care of south Africa, Turkey and Austria. For the last 10 years, India is only demanding from the US. Give and take also involves some giving. In return, India should sign the 3 foundational agreements with political understanding that India will take independent political positions in west Asia. India simply cannot handle West Asian anti-Americanism. But it can help in rest of Asia.