“China is not blocking India’s entry to the NSG. It is only talking about criteria and procedures. I am hopeful that we would be able to convince China to support our entry to the NSG,” Swaraj said at a press conference on Sunday afternoon.
Sushma Swaraj at the press briefing held on Sunday.
Not only China, Pakistan, a non-member, too, has been critical of India’s bid. A week after India applied for membership on May 12, Pakistan applied for entry at the behest of its “all-weather” ally China.
“As far as entry of Pakistan is concerned, India, being a non-member of the NSG, cannot comment on their entry and their role. But we will not oppose entry of any nation to the NSG and will support their bid. We think that the application of each country should be considered on the basis of their merit,” she said.
Expressing hope that by the end of 2016, India will be a member of the club, Swaraj said that the member countries should talk about the country’s credentials and track record instead of criteria.
Entry to the NSG is restricted to those who have signed the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). Beijing has raised India’s not being a signatory to the treaty as a reason for not letting New Delhi enter the club.
As of now, India has the backing of nearly every member country of the NSG including Mexico and Switzerland, who had earlier opposed India’s bid. US and Russia, too, have strongly backed India’s bid.
A final call on Indian membership will be decided at the NSG plenary meeting in Seoul scheduled on June 23 and 24.
On June 23, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation leaders’ meeting in Tashkent.