BEIJING: China has once again denied changing its stance regarding India on its bid to become a fully-fledged member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), ahead of the President Xi Jinping’s visit to India for a summit.
As Xi is due to arrive in Goa on Saturday to take part in the BRICS (a group of emerging nations: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang said the relations between India and China made headway despite some “disputes” but there was no change in Beijing’s stand on the issues of NSG, a 48-member grouping of countries that trades in civil nuclear technology.
Shuang during a media briefing said, “China’s position has not changed regarding the joining of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) by India.”
Earlier in October, holding out an olive branch ahead of the BRICS summit in the neighbouring country, a senior Chinese diplomat had claimed that China was willing to discuss ‘possibilities’ with India for its NSG membership.
India last month said it had held ‘substantive’ talks with China on its attempt to join the NSG.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been campaigning to join the NSG to back a multi-billion-dollar drive to build nuclear power plants in partnership with Russia, the United States and France, and reduce India’s reliance on polluting fossil fuels.
Yet his attempt to win accession to the group, founded in response to India’s first atomic weapons test in 1974, has failed to win over strategic rival China, which enjoys a de facto veto because it operates by consensus.