China is not opposed to India’s NSG bid, we will convince Beijing: Sushma Swaraj
NEW DELHI: China is not opposed to India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has clarified. She said Beijing is only focussed on criteria procedure to India’s membership to the elite nuclear club.
Swaraj’s comments came at a news conference to outline the foreign policy achievements of the Narendra Modi government over the past two years, as well as about recent developments. Her comments also came just days after
External Affairs Secretary S Jaishankar visited Beijing to discuss India’s NSG bid.
China has been seen globally as the sole impediment to India’s entry into the global nuclear trade regime. While some sources have attributed China’s decision to put the brakes on India’s bid to concerns over the strategic balance in its own neighbourhood, other have said Beijing is insisting on similar waivers to be extended to its all-weather ally, Pakistan.
Swaraj also fielded questions on the India’s attempt to join the NSG in relation to Pakistan’s own bid. “As far as our stand on Pakistan’s NSG membership is concerned, India is not opposed to the entry of any nation into the NSG. We would want any application to be considered on its own merits,” said Swaraj.
She added that she was hopeful of moving India’s membership process forward. “We are hopeful. We will be able to convince China as well. We are in touch with 23 nations on this issue. One or two of them had raised concerns, but I think a general consensus is there,” she said.
The Modi government would attempt to ensure that India’s NSG membership becomes a reality by the end of this year, the External Affairs Minister stressed. “The NSG membership has assumed importance this year in light of the leadership role that India projected on the global stage at the Paris climate talks,” she said.