NEW DEHLI (Online): Indian foreign secretary S Jaiishankar visited China on June 16-17 to seek Beijing’s support for India’s NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) membership bid, Indian media quoting officials reported on Sunday.
His under the radar visit comes ahead of a key NSG meet to be held in Seoul on June 24.
Confirming Jaishankar’s unannounced trip to Beijing, Indian ministry of external affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that the foreign secretary was in China from June 16-17 “for bilateral consultations with his Chinese counterpart. All major issues, including India’s NSG membership , were discussed.”
This is the second time that Jaishankar has raised India’s NSG bid with China. The last discussion was held in May on the sidelines of President Pranab Mukherjee’s China visit.
Jaishankar’s meeting with Chinese leaders also comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, when he is due to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 23 during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit meeting and take up the issue.
China has been opposing India’s entry into the elite nuclear group on the grounds that it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and if the rule is relaxed for India, it should be done so too in the case of Pakistan.
India has got the backing of most countries for admission to the NSG, including the US, Britain, Italy, Mexico and Switzerland.