All eyes are on the Nuclear Suppliers Group’s two-day plenary which begins in Seoul today as India continues to push ahead for membership for the elite grouping.
On Wednesday, France joined the United States in strongly backing India’s bid for NSG membership even as Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar arrived to garner support in the 48-nation grouping which is divided over the issue.
China continued to stonewall India’s entry harping on the need to have a criteria for countries like India which have not signed the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty and clubbing India’s case with that of Pakistan for which it is batting.
While making some right noises of playing “constructive” role on the issue of memberships of India and Pakistan, China maintained that the matter was not on the agenda of the plenary. Here too, Beijing clubbed the two sub-continental neighbours despite the marked difference in their nuclear non-proliferation track record.
Officials in New Delhi emphasised that NSG process was “delicate and complex” and cautioned against speculating on India’s prospects.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet in Tashkent today where they are attending the SCO Summit. Modi may talk to Xi on NSG issue but whether the Chinese will alter their stance is a moot point