Ahead of President Xi Jinping’s visit to India, China on Monday said that it is “ready” for talks with India on its entry into the NSG but defended extending a hold on India’s bid for a UN ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar, saying Beijing is opposed to anyone making “political gains in the name of counter-terrorism”.
Briefing media here on Xi’s visit to India this week to take part in the BRICS Summit in Goa, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong again harped on the need to build consensus over the admission of new members in the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
“In this aspect we are also ready for discussions with India to explore possibilities but things need to be in keeping up with procedures, norms and regulations of the NSG. On this issue, China position is consistent. That is why China has often said international law must be observed,” he said.
He said that India and China have maintained good communication and ‘China are ready to continue consultations’ with India to build consensus
“we also hope India can go to other members of the NSG as well, “said Li
On China’s move to stall India’s bid for a UN ban on Azhar – head of Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammad, Li sought to justify Beijing’s recent technical hold in the matter, saying:
“China is opposed to all forms of terrorism.”
“There should be no double standards on counter- terrorism. Nor should one pursue own political gains in the name of counter-terrorism,” he said in a veiled reference to India, which is pressing for the UN ban against Azhar over his role in the Pathankot terror attack.
While India has blamed one country, without naming China, for stalling its membership in the NSG, both the countries held talks recently to iron out differences. After talks with India, China also has held similar talks with Pakistan, which also applied for membership in the influential grouping.
The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) recognizes the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France – as nuclear weapons powers but not others.
India has ruled out signing the NPT but says its track record of non-proliferation should entitle it to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group. India was granted an NSG waiver in 2008 that allows it to engage in nuclear commerce, but deprives it of a vote in the organization’s decision making.
Xi will travel to Goa to attend the BRICS Summit scheduled to held between October 15-16. The BRICS grouping consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa.