Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held talks with his counterpart Union External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is understood to have figured among other regional and bilateral issues in the talks between the two leaders.
The relations between the two nations have had a spell of strain due to China stalling India’s bid for membership of the NSG at the plenary meeting of the 48-nation grouping in June.
Ahead of Wang Yi’s visit to India, China’s state-run media had reported that the door for India’s admission into the NSG is closed. It also urged India to “fully comprehend” Beijing’s concerns over the disputed South China Sea.
On Saturday, Wang and Sushma Swaraj discussed issues relating to annual BRICS summit which will be hosted by India in Goa in October.
“Discussing issues of mutual importance. EAM @SushmaSwaraj meets with her counterpart Chinese FM Wang Yi in New Delhi,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup shared on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
Prior to meeting Union External Affairs minister, Wang arrived in Goa Friday evening and met Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar. The two had taken up preparations for the BRICS summit.
Meanwhile, terming that India and China are partners not rivals, a commentary by state-run Xinhua news agency had said “as Beijing and New Delhi head into a season of intensive top-level diplomatic encounters that could well define the future of their partnership, the two need to work together to keep their disagreements in check”.
Striking a seeming reconciliatory note, the Chinese state media had further said, “India has wrongly blamed China for blocking its entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)”.
“So far, there is no precedent for a non-Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) signatory to become a NSG member. Many inside the body that monitors the global flow of nuclear materials insist prudence in handing a membership card to any non-treaty party,” it said in apparent reference to China’s persistent demand that signing the NPT is a must for the NSG entry.
“However, New Delhi should not be downhearted as the door to the NSG is not tightly closed,” China’s state-run media had said prior to its Foreign Minister’s India visit.
(With inputs from the PTI)