The statement came even as Beijing asserted that membership bids for the NSG have become “more complicated”.
New Delhi/Beijing: India will raise the recent incursions by Chinese military helicopters into Indian airspace over Chamoli district in Uttarakhand, with the country, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said on Monday.
She added that on the issue of India’s entry into the NSG amid Chinese opposition, countries friendly with China, such as Russia, should speak to Beijing on the issue of allowing entry of New Delhi. The statement came even as Beijing asserted that membership bids for the NSG have become “more complicated”.
Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit at Astana, Kazakhstan on June 8-9. On India’s non-participation at the recent One Belt One Road (OBOR) conference in Beijing, Ms Swaraj also felt China would be forced rethink the OBOR after other people (countries) at the conference expressed concerns over sovereignty issues, something that she said made her feel happy.
On being asked whether India would raise the issue of incursions by Chinese military helicopters over Uttarakhand in Beijing through its diplomats there, Ms Swaraj indicated that all diplomatic options were open. “We will raise the issue with China 101 per cent,” she said.
On Chinese objections to India’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Ms Swaraj said India’s friends like Russia should also speak to the Chinese over the matter. “We have always engaged with China and we are doing it for NSG as well. And (it is being done) not only by us, but even nations friendly to us as well as enjoying good relations with China, who feel that India should get an NSG membership,” Ms. Swaraj said.
Citing the example of Russia, she said it feels that India should be a part of both the NSG and the UN Security Council (UNSC). “So we feel, since Russia and China share good relations, it should talk to China. We are not asking them to put pressure on China, but use its good offices. Our effort is to convince China on the issue and also involve nations friendly with both the countries,” the minister added.
On China’s objection on inclusion of non-NPT countries, she said France was a non-NPT country when it was admitted into the NSG.
According to reports from Beijing, China meanwhile asserted that India’s membership bid in the NSG has become “more complicated” under the “new circumstances” and again ruled out backing New Delhi’s entry in the grouping, saying there should be non-discriminatory solution applicable to all non-NPT signatory countries. According to reports, the NSG, which will be holding its next plenary in Switzerland soon, goes by consensus approach on the admission of new members.
“About the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) it is a new issue under the new circumstances and it is more complicated than the previously imagined,” China’s Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Li Huilai told a media briefing in Beijing. He, however, did not elaborate what the new circumstances and complications were. “China supports the NSG to have consultation for reaching non-discriminatory and universally applicable solution, applicable to all members of the NSG,” he was quoted as saying. Asked about the chances of India’s admission into the grouping during this month’s plenary session expected to take place in the Swiss capital Berne, Li said, “China’s position on the non-NPT members’ participation in the NSG has not changed.”
Ms. Swaraj meanwhile said China has been maintaining that its opposition is not India-specific. She said only India’s credentials should be examined on NSG entry and not the criteria for admission since India’s non-proliferation record had already been verified in 2008 (before the Indo-US nuclear deal). She expressed confidence that India would eventually be successful in gaining entry into the NSG.
Ms. Swaraj also reiterated India’s concerns over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that passed through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) which is Indian territory. She said that even before China had conceptualised OBOR, India was already working on several connectivity projects in the neighbourhood.