India's bid for NSG entry to figure in US, China talks

India's bid for NSG entry to figure in US, China talks

India's bid for NSG entry to figure in US, China talks

Amid deepening divisions over the disputed South China Sea, China and US will hold their high-level annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue here on Monday.

A host of issues including differences over India’s entry into the NSG are expected to be discussed at the meet.

Billed as the most comprehensive dialogue between the world’s two largest economies, it will be attended by top officials from both sides, including US Secretary of State John Kerry.

While the South China Sea (SCS) issue, which has now become a major flash point between the two countries, is expected to dominate the two-day talks, a host of other issues including Taiwan, Tibet and India’s inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) are also expected to figure.

While the US has expressed its firm backing to India’s inclusion into the 48-member nuclear club building on the India-US nuclear accord, China has been insisting that there be a consensus among the members about inclusion of countries who have not signed the non-proliferation treaty. India has not signed the NPT on the ground that it is discriminatory.

Officials here are hopeful of a solution as China-US dialogue is taking place ahead of two of NSG’s key plenary meetings on June 9 in Vienna and June 24 in Seoul during which the issue is expected to come up. As India pressed its case, Pakistan too has applied amid reports that China is trying to push the case of its all-weather ally.

India itself has taken up this issue with top Chinese leadership as part of high-profile diplomacy, specially during last month’s President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit here.

However, China on Saturday night said that differences still prevailed among the NSG members about non-NPT members.

‘India should meet standards’

India should meet the NSG’s standards and open talks with Pakistan and China on curbing nuclear weapons if it wants to push its case for membership in the 48-nation group, a leading US daily said on Sunday, PTI reports from New Delhi.

In a lead editorial “The New York Times” said that America should press for India to adhere to the standards on nuclear proliferation to which other nuclear weapons states adhere.

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