India, China to discuss NSG membership on Saturday

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 14, 2016

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Meeting to take place on the sidelines of the BRICS summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will once again raise the issue of India’s membership at the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a bilateral meeting tomorrow.

The meeting will take place on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit to be held in Goa over the weekend.

India has tried to coax China several times before explaining the reasons and significance of its membership at the NSG. However, this time India has a “greater bargaining power” against China because of its membership at the Missiles Technology Control Regime (MTCR), where China is seeking a membership, sources told BusinessLine.

Incidentally, India is the only country in the BRICS grouping which is not an NSG member.

During the meeting, Modi is expected to explain to Xi the criticality of India’s NSG membership to attain its energy security objectives. Both leaders might also finalise the next round of meeting on this issue for which a separate dialogue mechanism has been launched, sources said.

During the last meeting of the NSG held in June, China had objected to India’s membership. Apart from China, a handful of other countries also objected the move.

Ahead of both leaders meeting on Saturday, China said it is “ready” to discuss the NSG issue. Both the countries have initiated separate dialogue on the issue.

Yet another issue that has become a major bone of contention between both countries is that of banning of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed’s chief and alleged mastermind of Pathankot attack Masood Azhar by the UN.

Although China has made it clear that it will not remove its veto from the UN Sanctions Committee in imposing a ban on Azhar stating that it is not in favour of any country making “political gains in the name of counter-terrorism” India believes this stance can be reversed.

The NSG issue was discussed at length between both the leaders when they last met on the sidelines of G-20 in Hangzhou in September.

Apart from these two burning issues, India is also expected to register its “strong objection” on the China’s plan to construct an economic corridor that is proposed to pass through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Besides, India will also raise the issue of rising trade deficit with China and seek investments from it through the proposed industrial parks.

India and China recently held the fourth round of the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED).

During this, India had offered huge investment opportunities in the renewable energy sector by way of participating through equity support, offsetting hedging cost, taking up of masala bonds, partnering in the solar projects.

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Published on October 14, 2016
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