New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Sunday said that Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar had made a two-day trip to China on June 16 and 17 to discuss India’s NSG membership with his Chinese counterpart.
In a statement released today, the MEA said that they have received several queries seeking confirmation if Jaishankar had indeed visited Beijing.
“Yes, I can confirm Foreign Secretary visited Beijing on June 16-17 for bilateral consultations with his Chinese counterpart. All major issues, including India’s NSG membership, were discussed,” the statement read.
This visit comes days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 23 when both leaders attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation leaders’ meeting in Tashkent.
China has maintained that more talks were needed to build a consensus on which countries can join the 48-nation NSG following the United States’ push to include India in the elite group.
The countries, who oppose India’s membership, argue that its inclusion in the group would further undermine efforts to prevent proliferation and also infuriate New Delhi’s rival Pakistan.
Islamabad, which enjoys the backing of its close ally China, has also responded to India’s membership bid and asked for its admission as well.
The decision on Indian membership will only be decided at the NSG plenary meeting in Seoul scheduled on June 23 and 24.
While reports surfaced that Beijing would try its best to stop India’s entry into the group, Washington has already vouched its full support during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to United States last week.