China on Tuesday said that the “door is open” for discussions over the admission of India and other non-NPT (non-proliferation treaty) countries to the NSG.
It, however, slammed the United States for supporting India’s bid, saying it was one of those who made the rule against the entry of non-NPT countries into NSG.
“I have not seen the US statement supporting India. But US is one of those who made the rule that non-NPT countries should not join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG),” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing.
Later, Hua reiterated that admission of new members is not on the agenda of the NSG meeting in Seoul.
“The door is open. The room is there. We never said we are against who (a country). We did not target any country, India or Pakistan,” Hua said.
The United States had earlier publicly exhorted members of the NSG to support the membership of India.
State Department spokesperson John Kirby said in a press briefing that the US has not changed its stand regarding India’s membership in the elite group.
“Well, as you know, during Prime Minister Modi’s visit, the President welcomed India’s application to join the NSG and reaffirmed that India is ready for membership. We continue to call – and nothing’s changed about our position. We continue to call on the participating governments of the NSG to support India’s application at the plenary session this week in Seoul,” he said.
Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar had made a two-day trip to China on June 16 and 17 to discuss India’s NSG membership with his Chinese counterpart. This visit came days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 23 when both leaders will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation leaders’ meeting in Tashkent.
China has maintained that more talks were needed to build a consensus on which countries can join the 48-nation NSG following the United States’ push to include India in the elite group.