China discusses India’s NSG membership

New Delhi, Sep 13 (IANS) In what can be a sign of China relenting on India’s bid for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a Chinese delegation visited New Delhi on Tuesday and discussed the issue with the Indian side.

“A Chinese delegation led by Director General Wang Qun of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs visited India on September 13 for talks with an Indian delegation led by Amandeep Singh Gill, Joint Secretary (Disarmament & International Security) in the Ministry of External Affairs,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

“The talks covered issues of mutual interest in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation,” it stated.

At the NSG plenary in Seoul in June, Beijing blocked New Delhi’s membership bid saying that for a country to be a member of the 48-nation bloc, it has to be a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

During Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to India last month, it was agreed that China’s Director General for disarmament would hold talks with his Indian counterpart on the issue.

Wang Qun heads the Chinese side during NSG meetings.

“As agreed by the External Affairs Minister (Sushma Swaraj) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in their meeting on August 13, the two sides focused in particular on an issue of priority for India – membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” Tuesday’s External Affairs Ministry statement said.

“The discussions were candid, pragmatic and substantive. The two sides agreed to meet for the next round on a mutually convenient date,” it added.

–IANS

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