Macro Economy

Modi-Chinese President meet in Tashkent key to India’s NSG membership bid

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on June 21, 2016

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US assures support to New Delhi at the upcoming plenary meeting in Seoul

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Tashkent, Uzbekistan for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) where he is expected to once again push for India’s membership into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

The most significant part of the visit will be his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of SCO where he is expected to lobby for Beijing’s support at the NSG’s annual plenary meet to be held in Seoul on June 24.

“Prime Minister is going to attend the SCO Summit where he will be meeting all the world leaders present there. A meeting with President Xi is also expected where naturally the NSG issue will come up,” a top official told BusinessLine on conditions of anonymity. A separate meeting among Modi, Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin is also on the cards. President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev is also expected to join in as his country also has questions on India’s entry.

The SCO Summit will take place at the same time as the NSG annual meet in Korea.

‘Not on agenda’

Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday reiterated that induction of new members is not on the agenda of NSG’s Seoul meet.

“We did not target any country, India or Pakistan. We only care about the non-proliferation treaty,” said Chinese Foreign Minister Spokesperson Hua Chunying.

Prime Minister Modi had been lobbying hard to get into the 48-member exclusive club, which controls nuclear commerce and access to sensitive technology, since 2014.

During his visit to Washington earlier this month, he had raised the matter with the US, despite several assurances from the White House that America supports India’s move.

“We believe —and this has been US policy for some time — that India is ready for membership.  And the US calls on participating governments to support India’s application at the plenary later this week, said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

Earnest added that the US will be “advocating” for India’s membership and urge for a “consensus” during the upcoming meet.

Interestingly, India already enjoys a number of benefits like the member-countries of NSG due to a waiver it obtained in 2008 despite being a non-signatory to the nuclear proliferation treaty (NPT), a mandatory requisite for being an NSG member.

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Published on June 21, 2016
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