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Outcome of Foreign Secretary visit to China (Relevant for GS Prelims and GS Mains Paper II)

Despite differences on a number of issues, including over the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), U.N. designation of Masood Azhar as a terrorist, and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, India and China have begun to look for a “common ground” on Afghanistan during Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar’s visit to Beijing last week.

NSG Membership of India
India has been pushing for membership of NSG for last few years.

Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)
Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons. As of now, the NSG has 48 nations as its members.

What will India get by becoming member of NSG?
India will get easy access of nuclear fuel and technology from other countries. This access is crucial for development of civilian nuclear energy programme in India.

Past dealings of India with NSG
1.  It is said that NSG was set up in response to nuclear test by India in 1974.
2.   India got an exemption from the NSG for nuclear imports in 2008, following the civil nuclear deal with the U.S. 
3.    In 2010, the Obama administration declared its support for India’s “full membership” of the group, but things have not moved far since. 

View of China on India’s membership
NSG operates by consensus and all its current members are signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. However, India is not a signatory of Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty. China opposes unconditional waiver to India for joining NSG. Rather it argues for a separate procedure of membership for Non-NPT countries. This procedure, if designed, will also enable Pakistan to become member of NSG.

U.N. designation of Masood Azhar as a terrorist
China does not favor to designate Azhar as UN terrorist. India has already expressed annoyance with China for ensuring that Jaish chief Masood Azhar is not designated a terrorist by the United Nations. Beijing accused India of seeking “political gains in the name of counter-terrorism” with reference to the Azhar issue.

Who is Masood Azhar?
Masood Azhar is the founder and leader of the UN-designated terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed, active mainly in the Pakistan-administered portion of the state of Kashmir.

Common ground in Afghanistan
Both India and China favour strong democratic government and opposes Taliban regime in Afghanistan. China favours democratic government because strong Taliban may promote jihadi terrorism in Muslim regions under China especially Xinjiang province, which shares boundary with Afghanistan and has witnessed terrorist attacks in the past.



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