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China Leads Opposition To India's Nuclear Suppliers Group Bid At Post-dinner Meet

A marathon three-hour post-dinner meeting of the NSG in Seoul on Thursday ended in a deadlock over India's membership. The meeting will resume on Friday

Photo Credit : PTI


China "belligerently" led opposition to India's membership of NSG at a three-hour post-dinner meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group in Seoul tonight which ended in a deadlock.

Preceding the 2-day plenary of the 48-member NSG, which began on Thursday (23 June), China had repeatedly said that India's membership was not on the agenda and is said to have made every effort to prevent any discussion on India's bid. However, Japan is believed to have raised India's case in the morning session after which it was agreed that the matter would be taken up at the special post-dinner meeting.

Indian official sources said that China was joined by Austria, Ireland and Brazil among other countries which questioned as to how a country like India which had not signed the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) can be admitted to the grouping. Essentially their opposition was couched in principles and processes.

Brazil's objections are said to have surprised the Indian diplomats who pointed out that it is a member of the 5-nation BRICS grouping. Besides India and Russia, the grouping includes Russia, China and South Africa.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, who is camping in Seoul, had earlier met the Brazilian delegation.

Officials said that discussions were inconclusive and that it would only be clear before the end of the plenary on Friday.

Clearly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's urgings had not changed the Chinese position, but what transpires on Friday the final day of the two-day plenary, remains to be seen.

Although admission of members like India which are not signatories to the NPT is not on the agenda, Japan and some other countries are understood to have raised the matter in the opening session which led to the matter being taken up at a special meeting after dinner.

About 300 participants from 48 member countries are attending the plenary which was preceded by official-level session that began on June 20.

Seeking China's support for India's membership, Modi urged President Xi Jinping to make a "fair and objective" assessment of India's application which is before the Seoul plenary. The two leaders are in Tashkent for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit.