NEW DELHI: Amid Chinese flip-flop over India’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), foreign secretary S Jaishankar left for Seoul ahead of a two-day plenary beginning on Thursday. The visit, seen as India’s aggressive push for entry into the exclusive club, is also significant as the US and France have reiterated their support for India’s membership. “India is looking for immediate membership and trying to avoid a situation where long deliberations may take place beyond Seoul plenary. There is still hope that China may come around and the PM meeting with Chinese President may seal India’s NSG membership,” sources said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to leave for Tashkent on Thursday for talks with Chinese President Xi Jingping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting.
On Wednesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Beijing will play a “constructive” role in the discussions on India’s bid for NSG membership, but at the same time maintained that the issue has never been on the group’s agenda so the idea of “blocking” is out of question. Chunying added that the group has had three unofficial discussions on the issue.