China favours balance in NSG waiver for IndiaSeptember 3rd, 2008 - 12:19 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing/New Delhi, Sep 3 (IANS) China has indicated it was ready to consider supporting the India-US nuclear deal provided the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) can strike “a balance between nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful use of energy”.”China hopes the NSG finds a way to strike a balance between nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful use of energy,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu was quoted by Xinhua news agency as telling reporters in Beijing Tuesday.
Beijing’s readiness to consider the nuclear deal in the NSG comes close on the heels of critical remarks in the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, attacking the nuclear deal as a major blow “to the international non-proliferation regime”.
Jinag, however, added that she had not read the article that appeared in Monday’s edition of the People’s Daily, indicating a split in opinion among the Chinese leadership about the nuclear deal.
India is, however, hopeful that China will not risk its growing relations with New Delhi by playing the spoiler in the 45-nation NSG, which meets Thursday to consider a waiver to resume global nuclear commerce with New Delhi.
China Tuesday announced Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi’s forthcoming visit to India and underlined that the two countries are “partners, rather than rivals”.
The three-day visit beginning Sunday was announced in New Delhi and Beijing by the foreign office of the two countries. This will be Yang’s first visit to India since becoming foreign minister in April last year.
“China and India are friendly neighbours, and both are large developing countries. The two sides have reached consensus that they were cooperative partners of mutual benefit, rather than rivals,” Jiang told reporters.
Alluding to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s successful visit to China early this year, she said the visit that led to the signing of a strategic joint statement, “A Shared vision for the 21st Century”, marked an important step in improving relations.
Announcing the visit in New Delhi, the Indian foreign office said the Chinese foreign minister will hold talks with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee on a wide range of bilateral and global issues.
Before coming to Delhi, Yang will formally inaugurate China’s consulate general in Kolkata, a move aimed at expanding trade between the two countries.
The two ministers will discuss an entire gamut of issues, including the decades-old border dispute, trade ties and the prospects of civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries.
Yang is also likely to assure New Delhi that China is not in competition with India over Nepal.
Nepal’s Prime Minister Prachanda’s visit to China to attend the closing ceremony of the Olympics fuelled speculation among some sections in India that Beijing was trying to use Kathmandu to deepen its strategic stakes there at the cost of New Delhi.
Yang will call on Manmohan Singh and is likely to extend an invitation to him to visit China for the Asia Europe (ASEM) conclave in October.