Asserting that NSG membership is a priority, India today said there should not be any differences between it and China on issues such as development and clean energy, a day after Beijing said it is yet to take a position on the accession of a non-NPT country into the nuclear club.
Meanwhile, sources said that the second round of talks between the top nuclear officials of India and China is likely to be held in Beijing next month.
The two sides had held the first round of talks here on Tuesday with a focus on India’s admission into 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which controls global nuclear commerce.
“The two sides have had a substantive and pragmatic exchange on the issue of NSG membership, which is a priority for India because of our plans for civil nuclear energy.
“On certain issues such as development and clean energy, there should not be differences between the two sides,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said at his weekly briefing here.
China and India this week discussed issues of mutual interest in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation with a focus on India’s entry into NSG.
Swarup said that the two countries have agreed that both sides should approach these issues with mutual sensitivity to each other’s concerns and priorities.
“The exchange was useful in enhancing understanding of each other’s perspective and will be continued,” he said.
He said the two sides were also of the view that a process has been set in motion after the Seoul NSG plenary on the issue of membership and they should support this process.
“This can demonstrate to the whole world that India and China approach such issues with strategic maturity and are working together to narrow and resolve any difference of view. This is urgent and timely,” he said.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying told the media in Beijing yesterday that India and China are “yet to agree on accession of any specific member into the group”.
The talks came nearly two-and-a-half months after China scuttled India’s NSG membership bid.
Asked about China’s argument that energy issue is no longer a bilateral matter between it and India, Swarup said on issues such as development and clean energy or terrorism for that matter, given the positions that have been taken, there is a strong bilateral dimension.
“That is why we had this dialogue. The understanding of the two sides is that this is both a bilateral and a multilateral issue. There is no contradiction,” he said.
In the June Plenary of NSG in Seoul, despite strong American support, China stonewalled India’s bid to join the grouping on the ground that it was a not a signatory to NPT.