Will China back India's bid for NSG membership? Foreign secretary Jaishankar's visit raises hopes

Jaishankar had reportedly held a wide ranging bilateral consultation with his Chinese counterpart, including India's NSG membership.

Last Updated: Jun 19, 2016, 14:36 PM IST
Will China back India's bid for NSG membership? Foreign secretary Jaishankar's visit raises hopes

New Delhi: Though China has made it clear that India will have to go through the NPT route to become a member of the elite NSG club, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar's recent visit to Beijing raised speculation that there may by a change of stand.

During his visit to Beijing from June 16-17, Jaishankar had reportedly held a wide-range of bilateral consultation with his Chinese counterpart, including India's NSG membership.

Experts told the Times Now that it will now be difficult for China to oppose India's entry since the US, UK and now Russia, key members of the grouping, have already backed India and calling on other nations to support. China may find itself alone vis-a-vis the rest on the issue if it doesn't change its stand, they said.  

On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced to support India's bid for NSG membership. He told India Today that he would not only raise the issue at the NSG meet in Seoul next week but will also take up the matter with China.

Besides India, bids of other nations who have applied for NSG membership will also be taken into consideration at the meeting of the 48-member grouping.

China had earlier said that it could support India's bid if it promises to comply with the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) stipulations.

China said that NSG will have 'extensive discussions' about admission of new members ahead of its plenary meeting.

The NSG (Nuclear Supplier Group) looks after critical issues relating to nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in nuclear technology. The group works under the principle of unanimity and even one country's vote against India will scuttle its bid.

China has maintained that non-NPT signatories should not be admitted into NSG on the grounds that it would undermine efforts to prevent proliferation.