AFTER TWO days of talks between India’s topmost diplomat and top Chinese interlocutors, New Delhi and Beijing failed to end the deadlock on Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar’s listing as a global terrorist and India’s membership into the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Wednesday said that China was “open to India’s application” for membership in NSG, and then acknowledged that Beijing was stuck to its “view of procedures and processes”, which is different from others in the grouping.
Jaishankar, who held the first strategic dialogue with China on Wednesday, also said that India had explained its rationale on the listing of Azhar under UN 1267 sanctions committee, and pointed out that it is being pursued by other countries — the US, the UK and France — and not only India.
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After two days of meetings, Jaishankar’s underlying theme was that on both contentious issues with Beijing, there was a “broad international support” for India’s case, but Beijing remained the lone roadblock.
Speaking to reporters in Beijing, Jaishankar said, “On the NSG issue, the Chinese side underlined that they were open to India’s application for membership but they had their view of procedures and processes, and these were somewhat different from where we are at the moment and where we think most of the group is at the moment.” On the Chinese Foreign Ministry calling for “solid evidence” to get Azhar banned, Jaishankar said, “In the case of Azhar, Jaish itself is proscribed under 1267. So the proof is in (the) 1267 Committee action. In this case what he has done (and) extent of his actions are well-documented.”
Besides, the proposal in question this time is not moved by India, he pointed out. “It is not that the burden of proof is on India to convince. The sponsors seem to be very well convinced, otherwise they would not have taken the initiative to move the proposal.”
About China saying that there is no consensus on the issue, Jaishankar said there is no consensus “because China has not joined it”.
Since the 1267 Committee proceedings are not public, he said, “Our understanding is that there is overwhelming support in the 1267 (Committee). This (is) what we are told. Other countries should be asked. The 1267 Committee is not for public. ”
Beijing had stalled both issues throughout last year.
Jaishankar met Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui, and also touched upon the situation evolving in the US after President Donald Trump took office.
Describing his visit as “useful”, Jaishankar said that in terms of “forward progress”, there is recognition that the investment climate has improved in India. “Chinese FDI has gone up very substantially. The fact (is) that today visas and exchanges between us are going much better…in the last 7 or 8 years the relation has really broadened out very much…”