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Will China allow India to enter NSG after Modi-Xi meeting?

Views Headlines Correspondent

New Delhi: Will India be able to enter Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)? While China and Pakistan have frustrated India’s efforts to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group this year, there is still hope that India may gain entry into (NSG) and China may leave behind its reluctance to oppose India’s entry into the coveted group.

As Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, the hopes of Indian government rests with Jinping in this regard.

The Indian leader is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping tomorrow and there are hopes that some sort of turnaround is still possible and India may still gain entry into the NSG.

 

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi being received on arrival at Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, in China on September 03, 2016.

Indian government had sought Chinese cooperation earlier this year too when Modi had met Chinese President Xi in Tashkent on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in June. Modi had sought his support for India’s membership in the coveted group.

But, instead of supporting India’s entry, China demanded that Pakistan too should be given an entry and both India and Pakistan be treated equally by the Nuclear Suppliers Group in this regard. It was China that blocked India’s entry at the plenary of the NSG in Seoul in June, citing New Delhi’s non-signatory status to the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. Beijing has, however, been a keen backer of Islamabad’s entry to the bloc. Intransigent then, Beijing now looks amenable to India’s admission into the elite grouping.

Chinese experts are upbeat about India-China relations’ improvement. “We are not against India’s entry into the NSG. After the Chinese Foreign Minister’s (Wang Yi) visit to India (in August), the two sides have agreed to establish a new channel to touch upon all these kind of issues,” Hu Shisheng, director, Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceanian Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, a government think tank said. He was referring to the new “mechanism” between India and China under which Joint Secretary of Disarmament Division Amandeep Singh Gill and Ambassador Wang Qun, Director-General of the Arms Control Division of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, will discuss the NSG issue.

He went on to add, “It’s because not to let these issues bother the top leaders (Modi and Xi). Earlier, they could not reach understanding because of lack of information. I hope the meeting would be good”. Asked if China would be more open to India’s admission to the NSG, Hu said: “Of course”. The change in Beijing’s stance may also have to do with a UN court ruling on the South China Sea dispute in July. The rejection of Beijing’s claims over the so-called Nine Dash line — almost 90 per cent of the disputed South China Sea — was a blow to China in its dispute with the Philippines, as also Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei. China has rejected The Hague Court’s ruling.

India has apprehensions about China’s massive investment in Pakistan. The $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is also likely to figure in the meeting between the two leaders. India has strongly opposed the proposed economic corridor which will pass through Pakistan-held Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, which New Delhi claims as its own. Modi’s reference to the two regions, as well as Balochistan, in his Independence Day speech has Beijing worried. Beijing fears New Delhi’s tacit support to the separatist sentiment in the region — a charged levelled by Islamabad and denied by New Delhi — may hit the already-delayed project.

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