NSG entry push: PM Modi meets Chinese President Xi Jinping; ball in China’s court

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Published: June 23, 2016 4:20:47 PM

Pushing for India's NSG membership, PM Narendra Modi today met Chinese President Xi Jinping...

NSG members will meet for a special session in Seoul tonight and India's membership bid is expected to come up for discussion. (Reuters)NSG members will meet for a special session in Seoul tonight and India’s membership bid is expected to come up for discussion. (Reuters)

Pushing for India’s NSG membership, PM Narendra Modi today met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Tashkent.

The spotlight is on Modi’s bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping because PM Modi is expected to seek China’s support for India’s membership at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) that controls access to sensitive nuclear technology.

Also Read: India NSG bid: China continues making ambivalent statements

NSG members will meet for a special session in Seoul tonight and India’s membership bid is expected to come up for discussion.

Amidst PM Narendra Modi’s aggressive push for India’s entry into NSG (Nuclear Suppliers’ Group), France has come out in full support for India. France volunteered a statement to assert that India’s participation in nuclear control regimes will help better regulate the export of sensitive goods, whether they are nuclear, chemical, biological, ballistic or conventional materials and technologies.

“France considers that India’s entry into the four multilateral export control regimes (NSG, MTCR, The Australia Group, The Wassenaar Arrangement) will bolster international efforts for combating proliferation. In line with its active and long-standing support to India’s entry to the NSG as a full-fledged member, France calls on its members, who are meeting on 23 June in Seoul, to take a positive decision,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, in a final push Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar is in South Korean capital Seoul ahead of the crucial NSG Plenary.

Jaishankar, who was closely monitoring the goings-on during the official-level meet of the 48-nation grouping which started on Monday, has gone to Seoul to lobby with members to boost India’s prospects of getting membership.

Roughly 20 countries are backing India’s case fully but given that the decisions in NSG are taken by consensus, India faces uphill task. But there was a degree of optimism among Indian officials which explains Jaishankar’s presence in the South Korean capital.

China continues to make ambivalent statements on India’s bid for NSG membership amid clear indications that it was unrelenting in its opposition. While making some right noises of playing “constructive” role on the issue of memberships of India and Pakistan, China maintained that the matter was not on the agenda of the plenary. Here too, Beijing clubbed the two sub-continental neighbours despite the marked difference in their nuclear non-proliferation track record.

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