A day after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj expressed optimism over support from China on India’s bid for NSG membership, Beijing on Monday snubbed Delhi by saying that India’s admission to the elite Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) was not on the agenda of the grouping that started a plenary session in Seoul.
The statement, as reported by NDTV, is widely being seen as a rebuff to India’s effort to join the NSG.
On Sunday, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj expressed considerable optimism saying that China was not against India’s bid but only objected to ‘procedures.’
China has been opposing India’s efforts to join the elite group of 48 nations. under the rule, even one vote against India will end New Delhi’s chances to join the group that controls the access to nuclear technology.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying was quoted as saying, “The inclusion of non-NPT members has never been a topic on the agenda of NSG meetings. In Seoul this year, there is no such topic.”
She added that the opinion within the member countries is divided on including not just India but all countries that are not signatories to the NPT or Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
She also informed that the Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had expressed India’s hope to join the NSG during his recent visit and the two sides exchanged ideas about it.