Modi raises NSG issue with Xi at SCO meeting

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on Friday.   -  SPUTNIK

Nuclear Suppliers’ Group to meet later this month

“Met President Xi Jinping. We spoke about India-China relations and how to further improve ties,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted after his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.

After a gap of almost eight months Modi met Xi. During the meeting, Modi is believed to have raised the issue of India’s membership at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The NSG is expected to meet later this month and may discuss the issue of admitting new members, sources told BusinessLine.

The meeting between both leaders comes within a month of India abstaining from the meeting on ‘One Belt One Road’ under China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which took place in Beijing in May 14-16.

India did not attend the meeting as it is opposed to Beijing’s plan to build the $50-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under BRI as it passes through Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

China had recently said under the present circumstances it is “complicated” for them to allow India’s entry into the NSG.

Recently, while addressing a press conference, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said that China should judge India’s membership application at the NSG based on its credentials and not on the basis of criteria.

Russia’s help

Swaraj had also said India has taken Russia’s help to nudge China as Moscow and Beijing enjoy friendly ties.

The next plenary session of the NSG is scheduled to be held in the Swiss capital Bern later this month. India had applied for the membership of the group, which controls global exports of nuclear materials and technology, in May 2016.

Modi and Xi are expected to meet again in July in Hamburg during the G20 Summit. Prime Minister is expected to also visit China later this year to attend the BRICS conference.

“We have to talk with the Chinese as that is the only way to resolve the host of issues that we have with them. There is no third alternative. We will always have problems with them and that’s because in terms of economic strength the gap between us is widening and that is concern for us,” said Ranjit Singh Kalha, former Ambassador and China expert.

During his visit to Russia earlier this month, Modi had said that although both sides have a border dispute “not a single” bullet has been fired at each other.

Airspace violation

Meanwhile, Swaraj had said India is going to raise the issue of airspace violation by China when choppers of the People’s Liberation Army flew over Chamoli district as it was “unacceptable.” This was the fourth such incursion into the Indian airspace since March.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who is also India’s Special Representative for India-China border talks, is expected to visit China next month.

Published on June 09, 2017

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