New Delhi: China on Monday snubbed India and virtually dashed its hopes of securing entry to the coveted Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at the NSG meet in Seoul on June 24, saying that the issue of India’s entry is not even on the agenda of the meeting even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to personally raise the matter with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where both the leaders are headed to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit on June 23 — just a day ahead of the meet in South Korea.
According to news agency reports from Beijing on Monday, China’s foreign ministry said the NSG remains divided over non-NPT countries like India becoming its members and that India’s admission into the NSG was not on the agenda at the Seoul meet. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying was quoted as saying, “We understand that non-NPT countries are concerned about their entry into the NSG. But since NSG is still divided about the issue, it is not mature to talk about the entry issue in the annual conference in Seoul.”
Beijing’s statement came a day after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj announced at a press conference in New Delhi that while a “consensus is evolving” regarding India’s membership to NSG, China’s opposition to India’s membership to NSG was only about criteria and procedure. “I am hopeful that we would be able to convince China as well to support our entry to the NSG,” she had said.
Mr Hua, however, was further quoted as saying, “China maintains that NSG should have through discussion on the joining of the non-NPT countries in a way agreed by all parties, so as to make a decision based on agreement. This position is not directed against any country and applies to all non-NPT states.”