Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a written response to The Hindu on Wednesday: “Although parties are yet to see eye to eye on this issue [entry of non-NPT countries in Nuclear Suppliers Group], such discussions help them better understand each other. China hopes to further discuss this issue and will play a constructive role in the discussions.”
While Indian officials say there have been several such rounds, not just “three” since 2011, Ms. Hua’s remarks indicate a shift from China’s previous stand ruling out any discussions on the subject until a “criteria-based” process was put into place to allow all non-NPT members in, including Pakistan. But an unofficial discussion is not enough, according to government sources and India is seeking “immediate membership to the NSG, not long-drawn discussions.”
In a late-night development, Foreign Secretary Jaishankar cancelled his trip to Tashkent for the SCO meeting and headed instead to Seoul to lead India’s diplomatic push on the ground.
“This is a delicate and complex process. At this point let us not speculate,” the sources said. At around the same time that Thursday’s NSG plenary gets under way, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping will sit down for a “full review” of bilateral ties (approximately 3.40 p.m. IST).