India hopes China will back nuclear suppliers group bid

After positive indications on India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) emerged from the Vienna preliminary meeting that concluded on Friday, New Delhi hopes China will come on board at the plenary meeting in Seoul on June 24.
India does not consider Beijing a roadblock to its entry into the nuclear export regime. While China has raised the issue of non-NPT members joining the NSG, India has no intention to polarise the 48-member body and believes Beijing will come around to supporting its membership claim, sources said.
Though Beijing’s posture could take the issue to the wire, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to take it up with Chinese president Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Tashkent on June 23-24. India is slated to join the SCO after its membership was approved last year.
Sources in the government said India had fulfilled all its commitments and the protocol required for entry into the NSG since 2008 and believed the Chinese position was ambiguous. India, therefore, did not see merit in singling out Beijing’s opposition.
Though the US, Switzerland and Mexico came out in support of India’s entry into the NSG during Modi’s just completed five-day visit, sources said New Delhi was capable of doing the diplomatic heavy lifting required to get into the regime. India is already a nuclear supplier after French company Areva tied up with NPCIL and L&T for manufacturing of nuclear reactors.
During Modi’s trip to the US, the logistics exchange memorandum of agreement was finalised with finite cooperation and applicability, sources said. According to that, there was convergence between India and the US on Afghanistan unlike in 2001 when Washington wanted New Delhi to only undertake developmental activities. There was also convergence on the right to navigation and freedom of innocent passage in the South China Sea without any prejudice to contesting territorial claims.

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