India re-engages China on NSG entry

India on Saturday offered a new “mechanism” of talks to China on the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) issue.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also expressed concern to the visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi about the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and sought an end to China’s opposition to blacklisting Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed.

The proposed talks featuring the Directors-General on disarmament issues on both sides would be a new track to convince China about India’s needs to be integrated into the global nuclear technology market for addressing the growing domestic demand for energy.

Diplomatic sources said the talks featuring Joint Secretary of Disarmament Division Amandeep Singh Gill and Ambassador Wang Qun, Director-General of the Arms Control Division of the Chinese foreign ministry, are likely to be held early next month.

“External Affairs Minister outlined importance of meeting our clean energy goals in the context of COP-21. Offered to discuss any technical issues China may have. It was agreed that the DGs of Disarmament of the two countries would meet soon,” said a highly placed diplomatic source indicating that Ms. Swaraj made a detailed presentation of India’s stand on accessing the global nuclear tech regime to Mr. Wang.

The proposal for a separate track for discussion on nuclear issues came weeks after India failed to get into the NSG during the June 23-24 plenary of the organisation in Seoul.

India had said “only one country” (indirectly referring to China) had raised a procedural objection to India’s inclusion into the NSG. China had opposed India’s candidature saying that its application for membership lacked merit as India had not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Saturday’s declaration for a separate track for discussion on the Nuclear Suppliers Group is significant as it means that the issue will receive more immediate bilateral attention. So far, India and China maintained the mechanism of bilateral dialogue at the level of Special Representatives (SR), which covers comprehensive diplomatic and strategic affairs.

CPEC and Pakistan

Ms. Swaraj also “urged” China to reconsider its opposition to India’s UN-level campaign to blacklist Pakistan-based terror mastermind Masood Azhar, who is wanted for his role in multiple terror attacks including the January 2 attack on the airbase in Pathankot.

“China’s technical hold on listing of Masood Azhar in the UNSC 1267 Committee also taken up. China urged to revisit its technical hold in line with its own professed zero tolerance towards terrorism,” the senior official source said.

China had placed a “technical hold” or a diplomatic note of opposition to India’s campaign to include Azhar on the list of “globally designated terrorists”.

The “technical hold” will turn into a formal blockade in early September unless China cooperates.

Ms. Swaraj also conveyed India’s concerns on the CPEC which runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and is fast emerging as a strategic lifeline between Islamabad and Beijing.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 4:56:31 AM |

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