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India and China will soon hold a dialogue on New Delhi’s bid for membership of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in which it hopes “differences” will be narrowed down. President Xi Jinping told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that a second round of dialouge on the issue of India’s entry into the NSG, over which China has reservations, will be held soon.
“This will be helpful. President Xi told PM,” MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup told reporters after the meeting held on the sidelines of the BRICS summit on Sunday. The Chinese President’s word on the issue came after the Prime Minister told him that India was looking forward to working with China on realising its membership of the NSG.
Replying to questions whether China has softened on its stand on India’s membership, Swarup said, “This shows there is dialogue, a good strategic dialogue. Of course this will narrow differences.” Asked whether China reiterated the position that membership of the NSG was by consensus among parties, he replied “no”.
Last month, a Chinese delegation led by Director General of Department of Arms Control Wang Qun had visited India for talks on the issue with Indian officials. In the June Plenary of NSG in Seoul, despite strong American support, China stonewalled India’s bid to get entry into the group on the grounds that it was a not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).