Beijing/New Delhi: India’s hopes of making progress towards NSG membership at the plenary meeting of the 48-nation grouping which began in Seoul yesterday received a setback with China saying that this was not even on the agenda of the meeting.
China’s Foreign Ministry said this less than 24 hours after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had exuded hope that “we would be able to convince China to support our entry to the NSG.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying in Beijing said that India's admission into NSG was not on the agenda. “We understand that non-NPT countries are concerned about their entry into the NSG. But since NSG is still divided about the issue, so it is still not mature to talk about the entry issue in the annual conference in Seoul,” she said.
Officials in New Delhi sought to downplay the snub with the MEA Spokesperson saying that India remained “optimist.” “China maintains that NSG should have through discussion on the joining of the non-NPT countries in a way agreed by all parties. This position is not directed against any country,” Hua added.