As it renews its bid for Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership, India has told interlocutors that New Delhi has no issues with Pakistan getting entry into the elite club after following due process like it did.
Pakistan’s bid has made admitting new members into the NSG a political compulsion for China, an all-weather ally of Pakistan, which had raised procedural issues against India’s efforts in May.
The consultations for Indian membership are now taking place on two tracks: discussions undertaken by NSG’s chair’s envoy Rafael Grossi with members of the group and India’s bilateral efforts to drum up support for entry into the club by the year-end.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take up the matter when he meets Chinese president Xi Jingping on the sidelines of the G20 summit on Sunday. China had blocked India’s bid last June on the grounds of it being non-signatory to the non proliferation treaty (NPT).
India has said that it has fulfilled all the ‘necessary requirements’ for becoming a full member of the NSG. And any country (read Pakistan) following suit can be admitted.
Xi may raise Lemoa
However, it will not be a surprise if Xi raises India’s recent signing of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the US and asks Modi to clarify India’s foreign policy doctrine of non-alignment.
China though is not worried about the pact, a top expert said.
“There is no panic in China over LEMOA. It doesn’t mean US will use Indian bases... China is not worried. China and India relations are not a zero sum game,” Ye Hailin, director of the Centre for South Asian Studies at the elite Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) told Hindustan Times.
“India will not give up its independent foreign policy. There is no formal military alliance with the US and there is no shift in India’s strategic doctrine.”
Hu Shisheng, South Asia expert at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said, “Ever since the beginning of this year, there have been new disturbances in our bilateral relations. But I am glad to find that after foreign minister Wang Yi’s visit to India, the situation is stabilising.”
Bilateral trade between the months of January and May fell by about 6% to $26 billion, compared to the same period last year.
The chronic problem of trade deficit for India — and trade surplus for China — for the five months in 2016 is nearly a whopping $20 billion.
But the outlook for the future is strong.
“Chinese investment has strong enthusiasm to get into India, (it is) very active to get into the Indian market. Businessmen are trying to get to know India, to collect more information on the Indian market. Next step, they will invest,” said Liu Xiaoxue, an economist with CASS’s National Institute for International Strategy.
It is also learnt that a bilateral meet between Modi and President of the United States Barack Obama will not take place.