No change of stance on NSG, Azhar: China

Beijing [China]: China said on Monday that its position on India’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as well as designating Masood Azhar as a terrorist by the United Nations remains unchanged.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said, “As for India’s application to join the NSG and the listing matter of the UN Security Council 1267 Committee, China’s position is very clear and unchanged.”

He made the remark when asked about Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s statement that both China and India should respect each other’s legitimate aspirations, and that China should not give a political colour to India’s efforts to access civilian nuclear technology,

The spokesperson added that in recent years, the strategic partnership for cooperation between India and China has made all-around progress and that it is normal for the two big countries who are also close neighbors to differ on some issues.

“But the main theme for the bilateral relationship is friendship and cooperation, while differences are secondary,” he added.

India’s bid to join the NSG in June was backed by the US and France but faltered after China, South Africa, New Zealand and Austria opposed the application. Beijing and its allies say only countries that have signed a global arms control pact – the NPT – will be allowed entry. India refuses to sign the pact because it would mean shutting down the country’s nuclear defence programme. (ANI)