President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Tashkent that begins Thursday during which India is expected to seek China’s support for its NSG bid.
“We will release relevant information in due course,” foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Wednesday, confirming the meeting between the two leaders.
The summit in the Uzbek capital coincides with the two-day annual plenary of the nuclear suppliers group in Seoul, South Korea where India’s application for a seat on the global nuclear trading table is expected to be discussed.
During his meeting with Xi, Modi is likely to seek China’s support to join NSG, which Beijing is resisting.
Hua denied China was blocking India’s entry. “With regard to India’s entry into NSG, I would like correct that the word China blocking India’s membership is not proper,” she said.
“The word blocking is not proper. In the NSG agenda we have never seen the topic of non-NPT countries entry. So it does not make sense to say we block the entry.”
All the member countries were concerned and issues relating to non-NPT countries’ entry into the NSG were discussed, she said. “We hope that relevant discussion will keep going and Chinese side will take constructive part in the discussion,” she said.
China has clubbed India’s entry with that of Pakistan, which, like New Delhi, has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).
An NSG membership will give India access to latest nuclear technology, crucial to meet its growing energy needs.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a Euroasian political and security grouping increasingly seen as a counterweight to Nato. India and Pakistan will be formerly inducted into China-dominated group during the Tashkent summit. Membership will give India access to major gas and oil exploration projects in Central Asia.