Modi to push China for NSG entry, investments

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 17, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang

PM to meet Chinese counterpart at next month’s G-20 conclave

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be pushing for India’s membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) when he meets his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang next month even as he will focus on expediting the $20 billion investments that the Chinese had promised.

Modi will be holding a bilateral meeting with Li on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting on September 4-5, being held in Hangzhou, China. He is expected to focus mainly on persuading China to agree on India’s NSG membership by linking it with China’s application at the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), of which India is a member.

“The NSG will be top on the PM’s agenda, while all other issues of bilateral importance will be discussed. The Prime Minister is also going to urge the Chinese to expedite their investment promise of $20 billion, announced when their President was here,” a top official told BusinessLine requesting anonymity.

The official added that after the MTCR development, China may change its position on India’s entry at the NSG.

Both the Prime Ministers will be meeting for the first time after China vetoed India’s chances of being a member of the NSG during its annual meeting in June. Following this, India became a full member of the MTCR, in which China is not yet a member but has already applied for it. On the other hand, China had been pushing for Pakistan’s membership there.

“China will now increasingly face isolation if it does not allow India to enter NSG. Apparently, they are working on an alternative plan in which they will give a nod to India’s membership bid without linking it with Pakistan’s application,” said Srikanth Kondapalli, Professor in Chinese Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Investment, trade deficit

On September 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping had vowed to invest $20 billion for the next five years in India, and was also keen on setting up industrial parks across India for Chinese firms to do business.

However, India is “upset” that the so far investments worth merely $1.2 billion have come in while work on the two industrial parks in Pune and Ahmedabad, offered by India to China, had been slow.

Modi is also likely to point out to the rising trade deficit with China, which has ballooned to $52.67 billion during 2015-16 from $48.47 billion in the previous fiscal.

In 2015-16, India’s exports to China declined 24.35 per cent to $9 billion from $12 billion in 2014-15, according to official data.

The agenda will be finalised during the visit of Chinese Minister Wang Yi on August 13, when he meets Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.

Published on August 08, 2016

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