China on Monday said that it will continue to oppose India's bid for membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, PTI reported. The Chinese government has held that India's application will be considered only after the NSG finalises rules on granting membership to countries that are not signatories to the the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
"Our position is subject to no change as of date" said Lu Kang, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry. He added that Beijing was coordinating with New Delhi over the matter.
The statement comes days before a plenary session of the NSG is scheduled to be held in Vienna, Austria. At the meeting on November 11 and 12, the process to admit new members into the group is likely to be discussed. Pakistan had also applied for membership to the NSG, but the country, too, is not a signatory to the NPT.
Beijing has been against India's entry to the 48-member international body, which monitors and control the export of materials or technology that can be used to create nuclear weapons. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had met his Chinese counterpart in Hyderabad on November 4 to discuss the same. In June, China was one of the main countries to have blocked India's bid to become a member of the group, saying the country was not eligible as it was not a signatory to the NPT.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been attempting to gather support for NSG membership for India, but he has faced resistance from a number of countries, particularly from China and Pakistan. However, China's Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong had said before the Brics summit that the country was "willing to jointly explore" the possibility of India joining the NSG.
Relations between the two countries have deteriorated recently because of several factors, including China's displeasure over the Dalai Lama's possible visit to Arunachal Pradesh and a boycott of Chinese goods sold in Indian markets. China has also stalled India's attempts to have Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar designated a terrorist by the United Nations. Bilateral ties with China have also been affected by worsening India-Pakistan relations.