BEIJING: China today sought to de-link its opposition to India’s membership of NSG from Sino-Indian ties saying that it does not concern the bilateral relationship.
China-India bilateral relations have maintained “sound momentum” and the issue of India’s admission into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) does not concern bilateral ties, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Tashkent.
“President Xi is going to meet Prime Minister Modi in Tashkent. We believe that series of exchanges of visits will deepen our strategic consensus, strategic mutual trust and future development of bilateral relationship,” Hua told media briefing here.
On the state of bilateral ties, she said, “we have repeatedly made positive comments on development ties between India and China. Both are emerging markets that are acquiring more and more significant role in the international affairs,” she said. The bilateral relations have maintained sound momentum of growth, thanks to the mutual visits of the leaders by the two countries, she said.
“We have agreed that we would make joint efforts to develop closely knit relationship. Recently President of India Pranab Mukherjee also paid a successful visit to China,” she said. On whether India, China differences over India’s admission into the NSG would affect relations, Hua said, “on the NSG issue, we have been expounding on our position on this issue.
We believe that with regard to the admission of new members a decision shall be made with through discussion within the group”.
“We do not believe that it is an issue concerning the bilateral relationship between China and India,” she said. Xi and Modi are due to meet on the sidelines of the SCO meet in Tashkent today where he was expected to seek China s support for India’s membership in the NSG. China is calling for consensus among the 48-member group about the admission of countries which have not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Both India and Pakistan, which have applied for NSG membership, have not signed the NPT. While India’s case is pushed by the US, China is backing Pakistan.
Meanwhile, as the NSG kicked off key meeting in Seoul today, China’s official media continued its tirade against India’s bid for membership in the grouping with an article defending China’s opposition and attempting to equate Indian and Pakistan nuclear programs.
The article written by a senior fellow and director of the Proliferation Prevention Program at Centre for Strategic & International Studies published in state run Global Times says India’s bid to enter NSG is aimed at legitimizing its nuclear weapons status.
“The costs and benefits of Pakistani membership are similar to those of India’s, except that Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan tarnished Pakistan’s record considerably when he sold centrifuge technology to Iraq, Iran and Libya , the article by Sharon Squassoni says.
It was the fourth article in the last one week carried by the daily to oppose India’s admission into the NSG. The previous three articles were written by Chinese state run think tanks.–PTI