China lone holdout as 47 back India's NSG bid

China remained the last major obstacle in the way of India's membership bid in the Nuclear Suppliers Group as 47 of 48 members supported Delhi's application at the group's special plenary session in Seoul on Thursday.
The session debated until midnight but failed to come to a conclusion after hours of discussions, with China adamant in its opposition. Questions and doubts by other fence-sitting countries dissolved in the course of the evening, leaving China as the last man standing against India. Officials in Seoul said the meeting would restart on Friday. After Thursday's meeting, delegations were asked to revert to their HQs for fresh instructions. China raised a procedural block early in the day, refusing to admit the India membership issue for discussion at the meeting.This, diplomats in the room said, caused a delay of over five hours as the members wrestled with an agenda item. Finally, it was decided to discuss a heavily worded agenda on “political, legal and technical issues of non-NPT countries' membership“.The discussions began at 9 pm and ended around midnight, but remained deadlocked. Indian officials will be lobbying hard with the members before the meeting begins on Friday morning. The US is also expected to be working the phones on India's behalf.
Earlier on Thursday afternoon, PM Narendra Modi delivered a candid message to Chinese President Xi Jinping who he met for a bilateral on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Tashkent. Sources said Modi conveyed to Xi New Delhi's expectation that China would support India in the NSG, a position which suggests that continued opposition will impact ties. The 45-minute Modi-Xi meeting was almost entirely devoted to the NSG issue and China's opposition. A readout of the meeting was given by official spokesperson Vikas Swarup, who said, “PM Modi urged China to make a fair and objective assessment of India's application and judge it on its own merit. He said China should contribute to the emerging consensus in Seoul.“
Until late Thursday evening, however, Chinese diplomats in Seoul held on to their stand against India. Brazil and South Africa, two other BRICS members, backed India, as did Russia. The consensus emerged through the evening's discussions, with Ireland, Switzerland and Austria, even Brazil raising questions on process ­but these whittled down to supporting India. Turkey stuck to supporting both India and Pakistan. Pakistan's NSG bid was not discussed at length, though the presence of the application was the reason for a lot of discussion on non-NPT countries.

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