Hello Hangzhou: With NSG on mind, PM Modi braces for crucial meeting with Xi Jinping

“Hello Hangzhou,” India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the residents of this picturesque Chinese city as he braces for a “constructive” summit of the world’s major economies and a crucial bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping amid a stalemate over India’s membership of the NSG.
Hordes of prominent Indians living in Hangzhou greeted Mr Modi as he entered Hotel Sheraton Grand around 10.30 pm (local time) to begin a two-day visit to China. Dressed in flowing kurta pyjama, Mr Modi looked fresh and invigorated from his successful trip to Hanoi where he announced $500 million assistance for Vietnam’s military modernisation. There are hardly 300-odd Indians in Hangzhou, but they made their presence felt as they beat drums and chanted “Modi, Modi” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai” as the prime minister went around shaking hands with them.
It will be a busy Sunday for PM Modi as he begins the day with what is clearly the most significant diplomatic engagement during his China trip – a meeting with the leader of the world’s second largest economy, who holds the key to India’s membership of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group. The discussions will focus on recent irritants in bilateral ties with the thrust on restoring strategic equilibrium in this sensitive bilateral relationship that is prone to get bogged down in misunderstandings and the narrative of rivalry and competition. Mr Modi is expected to push the Chinese leader for a rethink on India’s membership of the NSG, which controls the global flow of nuclear material and equipment. India had singled out China as the sole spoiler for its failed bid to get into the NSG at the grouping’s plenary in Seoul in June. China had insisted on India signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a precondition for its entry into the NSG, which was a clear deal-breaker and not acceptable to New Delhi as it regards the NPT discriminatory that divides the world into the nuclear haves and have-nots.

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