China today reiterated its earlier stance on India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) bid saying there is no change in its stand on the admission of non-NPT states into the group. As per a PTI report, this has come as a fresh jolt for India as the meeting of the elite club is currently on in Bern. Speaking to media persons, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that there was no change in China’s stance as far as admission of non-NPT countries into the group was concerned.
China decision to block India’s NSG bid has become a major stumbling block in bilateral ties between two countries. After India applied for entry into the 48-member group, Pakistan had also applied with China’s backing. Even as India has the support of the US and several other countries, China continues to hold its stand that new members must sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), making India’s entry into the club tough as the country is not a signatory to the pact.
China backed the two-step approach hinting that NSG members should arrive first at a set of principles for admission to allow non-NPT states into the group and then start discussing specific cases. The meeting in Switzerland’s capital is being considered significant as Russian President Vladimir Putin is believed to have up the issue of India’s entry into the group with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during their meeting at Astana on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.
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The Chinese spokesperson, when asked about the cooperation between India and the US on Indo-Pacific region, including the South China Sea , the discussion which may take place between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump during their upcoming meeting, said that the situation in the South China Sea is beginning to normalise, the agency report added.