As China and the US concluded their two-day key annual strategic talks in Bejing on Tuesday, China insisted on consensus and full discussion within the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to admit India into the elite grouping.
“Members within the group still differ on the accession of countries which are not party states to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT),” Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a written response to a PTI query.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry was responding to a questions regarding India securing Switzerland’s support on the NSG and whether the ‘membership’ issue figured in the Strategic and Economic Dialogue with US.
“China stands for continuous and full discussions within the group on this issue, in order to forge consensus and make a decision based on agreement,” the Ministry said, adding that it has “explicitly” articulated Beijing’s position to the Indian media, in recent weeks.
The Ministry, however, did not respond to the question whether the issue was discussed with the US during the trategic talks which covers all aspects of the bilateral ties and multilateral issues of interest to China and the US.
While the US has backed India’s inclusion in the 48- member NSG, China is reportedly supporting Pakistan, however, it maintains that Islamabad is not a signatory to the NPT, as well.
The issue was expected to figure in the plenary meeting of the NSG on June 9 in Vienna.
The US-China strategic talks was attended among others by Secretary of State John Kerry. In his remarks after the conclusion of the talks, Kerry mostly touched differences relating to the South China Sea dispute as well as mutual position on the nuclear issues relating to North Korea.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry also reacted guardedly to the recent remarks by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
“China holds a consistent and clear position on the South China Sea (SCS) issue,” the Ministry said.
Maintaining its unflinching stance and looking for a possible diplomatic solution to the South Chian Sea issue, the Ministry added, “While firmly upholding territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, China is committed to resolving disputes peacefully through consultation and negotiation, managing differences by establishing rules and mechanisms, achieving win-win results through development and cooperation,and safeguarding the freedom of navigation and overflight as well as peace and stability in the South China Sea.”
China was looking forward to work with its neighbours to bring more stability in the rigion, as the minitry said,”China is poised to work alongside regional countries to maintain regional peace and stability, achieve economic prosperity and share development dividends.”
In his comments on the SCS, Parrikar had said, “we have traditional links with the countries in the South China Sea. More than half (of) our trade passes through its waters”.
However, reiterating that India supported a diplomatic solution to the issue, Parrikar said, “While we do not take a position on territorial disputes, which should be resolved peacefully without the threat or use of force, we firmly uphold freedom of navigation and overflight in accordance with international law, in particular the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.”
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