India puts NSG entry, Masood issue on table in talks with China

Published: 14th August 2016 04:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th August 2016 04:44 AM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: Refusing to be bogged down by China scuttling its entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), India on Saturday took up the matter directly with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his New Delhi visit.

Yi, after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, held talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

A number of issues of bilateral and international importance were discussed during the three-hour-marathon meeting with Swaraj.

According to sources, the most important agenda of the talks was India’s bid for an NSG membership. “Sushma Swaraj outlined the importance of a seat in NSG towards India’s objective of meeting its clean energy goals,” sources said. It was mutually agreed upon that the director generals of disarmament of the two countries would meet soon to discuss the issue.

Another bone of contention that Beijing had repeatedly been blocking is to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist by the United Nations. For the second time this year, China put the listing of Azhar, reported to be behind the Pathankot attack, on a technical hold. Sources said China agreed to “revisit its technical hold” in line with its professed zero tolerance towards terrorism.

India spoke of its concerns over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor coming up in Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir at a whopping cost of $46 billion. The corridor aims to link China’s Xinjiang province to the Gwadar deep sea port close to Pakistan’s border with Iran. In the past also, India had asked China to cease such activities.

Among other issues discussed were the easing of visa regime and civil society relations. India’s hopes of becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council was also spoken about.

However, China is said to have avoided the issue of the South China Sea. Earlier in the day, Yi had briefed Modi on the G-20 summit that will be held in China in September.

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