India strongly woos China to support NSG bid
20 June 2016
India on Sunday exuded confidence that it would get membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), while clarifying that it won't oppose the application of any other country – probably a reference to Pakistan, which is also seeking NSG membership and which has close nuclear ties with Beijing.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj also said New Delhi will continue to seek a consensus on the issue and try to win China's support.
"Hum China ko bhi mananey mein kamyabi hasil kar lenge (We will succeed in convincing China too)," she told the media in New Delhi.
Swaraj said India would not oppose any other country's application for entry into the NSG, but underlined the final decision should be on merits.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted birthday wishes to Chinese president Xi Jinping on Weibo, the Chinese social networking site, and on Thursday foreign secretary S Jaishankar flew to Beijing on a two-day unannounced visit, to win over recalcitrant china's support.
Though China's strategy would be revealed during the plenary session of the NSG scheduled in Seoul on 23-24 June, where India's inclusion will be discussed, Swaraj hinted at a thaw. She said China was not opposed to India's entry, but had concerns over some procedural issues.
''China is not opposing membership of India in NSG, it is only talking of criteria and procedure. I am hopeful that we would be able to convince China as well to support our entry to the NSG," Swaraj said.
Modi is again likely to meet XI Jinping in Tashkent where he is going to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit which coincides with the Seoul plenary meeting where the NSG issue will be taken up.
Modi has already sought Russian President Vladimir Putin's help in convincing the Chinese to back India's case.
India's entry to the NSG will help in taking a call on meeting its energy needs, though a waiver has been given to it in 2008 on technology transfers. ''It's like sitting outside the room when a decision is taken, when we get membership, we would be inside,'' Swaraj explained during a press conference on two years of NDA government.
She argued that difference between 2008 and now was to do with New Delhi's INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) to climate change as India has committed that 40 per cent of its energy needs will come from non-fossil fuels, while a third of it would be from the nuclear energy. India's entry would inspire investors' confidence and end uncertainty, the minister explained.
She expressed hope that there was a consensus and India would be able to get a place at the high table.
As the NSG, which was set up after the Indian nuclear test in May 1974, works under the principle of unanimity and requires all countries to agree, the Modi government is wooing all members.