Backing India's bid for a permanent membership on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the United States has started sounding out other Security Council members on the reform of the apex body, but has said it could not set a target date for its expansion.

“We have talked to China about Security Council reform. We've talked to all of our partners in the Security Council, and I'm sure we'll be doing follow-up discussions. We have reached out and explained the announcement that the President has made,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

With American endorsement, China remains the only veto-wielding permanent member of the UNSC that has not publicly endorsed India's candidacy.

On whether Washington had sounded Beijing on supporting India's candidature, Mr. Crowley said: “I just can't say whether we've reached out to China at this point.”

The American official's remarks came as Beijing sounded positive to U.S. President Barack Obama's endorsement of India's bid.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in Beijing that China understands New Delhi's “aspirations” to play a bigger role in the U.N. and is ready for consultations with it on the reform. “China values India's status in the international affairs and understands India's aspirations to play a greater role in the United Nations and is ready to keep contact and consultations with India and other member states on the issues of Security Council reform,” Mr. Hong said during a media briefing.

Keywords: UNSC membership