China has expressed its willing to discuss the possibility of having India as a full fledged member of the coveted Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
According to a Reuters report, Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong has said, “On the issue of joining the NSG, China and India have all along had very good communications, and (China) is willing to have further communications with the Indian side, to increase consensus.” Baodong’s remarks come days before Xi Jinping’s schduled India visit for the BRICS Summit.
“On this (NSG), China is willing to jointly explore all kinds of possibilities with India, but this must accord with the charter of the NSG, and certain rules need to be respected by all sides,” Li added.
India is trying to enter into the NSG membership for quite some time, but has faced strong opposition from China. Even while PM Narendra Modi reached out to Chinese President Xi Jinping, China had blocked India’s membership bid in June.
But ahead of the BRICS Summit in few days, a senior Chinese diplomat has said that the “possibilities” can be discussed – in effect extending an olive branch to India.
Modi and Xi Jinping will meet on the sidelines of the summit and the NSG membership issue may be discussed.
The prime minister is also expected to point out that China must withdraw its technical hold and allow JeM chief Masood Azhar to be listed as a banned terrorist by the United Nations.
China has always opposed India’s NSG entry bid saying that the country refuses to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
US, Russia and France are among few nations which are willing to overlook this detail, and have hoped that a agreement can be reached.