India, China discuss NSG membership, Jaish chief Masood Azhar

(From PTI)

Top disarmament officials of India and China will soon meet to discuss what made China block the UN move to ban Masood Azhar, chief of the Pakistani terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and oppose New Delhi’s bid for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Visiting Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, left, poses with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj during a meeting in New Delhi on Saturday.

Visiting Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, left, poses with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj during a meeting in New Delhi on Saturday

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, during their talks in New Delhi Saturday, decided to put in place a new mechanism at the level of Foreign Secretaries to discuss various aspects of bilateral ties which have witnessed strain in the recent past.

Swaraj conveyed to Wang India’s concerns on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir during the three-hour-long discussion including over lunch.

They reviewed the situation on the border and discussed further steps to strengthen peace and tranquillity.

Earlier in the day, Wang called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the two discussed a number of issues during their 20-minute meeting.

Wang briefed Modi on G20 Summit to be held in China in September. “The Prime Minister conveyed his greetings to Chinese President Xi Jinping,” the sources said.

“Lengthy discussions were held on India’s NSG membership. Swaraj outlined the importance of meeting our clean energy goals in the context of COP-21. India offered to discuss any technical issues China may have. It was agreed that the DGs of Disarmament of the two countries meet soon,” official sources said.

China had scuttled India’s bid for NSG membership at the plenary meeting of the 48-nation grouping in June on the grounds that New Delhi was not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), evoking a strong reaction from India.

India said China was the only country that put a road block to its NSG membership. Swaraj also raised the issue of China blocking India’s efforts to get JeM chief Azhar, mastermind of the Mumbai and Pathankot terror attacks, banned by the UN.

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

The border situation was reviewed and steps to strengthen peace and tranquillity were discussed.

South China Sea was not brought up by China in the talks.

Swaraj and Wang focused on bilateral issues, regional and global developments besides preparations for the BRICS summit which will be held in Goa in October.

Overall, the discussions between the two sides were held in a positive, constructive and open spirit. The progress in bilateral ties was reviewed as also “challenges on some recent issues.”

There was positive assessment of expanding investments as well as the need for more cooperation in the infrastructure sector.

The two sides underlined the need for easier visas, greater tourism and expanded cultural, academic and civil society interactions.

Wang arrived in Goa Friday on a three-day visit to India.

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