SCO summit: Ahead of NSG plenary, PM Narendra Modi to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Tashkent

The NSG looks after critical issues relating to nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology.

Updated: Jun 22, 2016, 19:01 PM IST
SCO summit: Ahead of NSG plenary, PM Narendra Modi to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Tashkent
File Photo

Delhi: Ahead of the crucial NSG plenary from June 23, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Tashkent beginning Thursday.

The MEA confirmed on Wednesday that PM Modi would be meeting President of China and President of Russia.

On whether PM Modi would be meeting Pakistan President, who is expected to attend the SCO summit, the MEA spokesperson said, "We don’t even have formal communication on who’s representing Pakistan at the summit," as per ANI.

During his meeting with Xi, PM Modi is expected to seek China's support for India's bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which Beijing is keen on blocking.

On the other hand, China today continued to make ambivalent statements on India's bid for NSG membership amid clear indications that it was unrelenting in its opposition.

Clubbing India and Pakistan once again, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said members of the 48-nation club have had three round of unofficial discussions on the membership of the two countries.

China is seeking to equate India with its impeccable non-proliferation record with that of Pakistan for which it is batting.

However, Beijing maintained that the entry of the two countries was not on the agenda of the two-day NSG plenary in the South Korean capital Seoul. 

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, "China hopes to discuss further this issue and will play a constructive role in the discussions," and added, "As for the entry of non-NPT countries, the group has never put that on its meeting agenda."

At the same time, Hua refuted the perception that China was blocking India's entry into the NSG.

"With regard to India's entry into NSG, I would like correct that the word China blocking India's membership is not proper. The word blocking is not proper. In the NSG agenda we have never seen the topic of non-NPT countries entry. So it does not make sense to say we block the entry," she said.

Yesterday, China had said that the door was open for discussions on the issue but had then emphasised on whether criteria for memberships should be changed instead of making exceptions.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar today arrived in the South Korean capital.

Jaishankar, who was closely monitoring the goings-on during the official-level meet of the 48-nation grouping, arrived in Seoul this afternoon to lobby with members to boost India's prospects of getting membership.

The NSG looks after critical issues relating to nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology. Membership of the grouping will help India significantly expand its atomic energy sector.

The NSG works under the principle of unanimity and even one country's vote against India will scuttle its bid.

Turkey, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa and Austria are said to be backing the Chinese stand.

(With Agency inputs)