China on Friday said the Nuclear Suppliers Group will not discuss the entry of countries who have not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, “before reaching a non-discriminatory plan”. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang made the remark in reply to a question about India’s entry into the group during a press conference.

India is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Lu also denied that China had blocked India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group. “First of all, no member was blocking any country,” he said. “All NSG decisions are made following its rules of procedure.”

The 2019 session of the NSG Plenary is being held in Nursultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, said Lu. “According to the agenda, member countries will continue to discuss the issue of technical, legal and political aspects of the admission of non-NPT states to the NSG,” he said. “Before reaching a non-discriminatory plan acceptable to all NPT non-parties, the plenary meeting will not be discussing the entry of any specific NPT non-party. So there is no blocking of India.”

In January, China had hinted that it would continue to block India’s entry into the group, saying there should be no “double standards” in enforcing the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Spokesperson of China’s Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang, had told reporters that the Non-Proliferation Treaty is the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and an important component of post-war international security system.

The statement came at a meeting of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – in Beijing to discuss nuclear disarmament.