China today denied that it was blocking India's bid for a membership in the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG, and said it will "work" with members of the 48-nation group as well as India to find a solution for India's entry into it.
Liu Zhenmin, China's vice-minister for Foreign Affairs, also said that the issue needs to be deliberated upon among relevant parties.
"That's not true. I think, the membership of NSG is not a new issue. It has been an issue for many years. This should be sorted out together with the members of the NPT," Liu Zhenmin told PTI when asked whether China was blocking India's entry to the elite club.
"Members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group should be party to NPT. So, I think China will also work with others including Indian colleagues together to find a solution.
"This should be consulted among relevant parties. As a very friendly country, China wants to have good cooperation with India at the international arena on all issues," the Chinese minister said. He is in Delhi to attend a multi-lateral legal meet.
Earlier this week, China claimed that several members of the group shared its view that signing of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was an "important" standard for NSG's expansion.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang in Beijing had said that not only China but also a lot of other NSG members are of the view that NPT is the cornerstone for safeguarding the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. The Chinese action is apparently at the behest of Pakistan, which is also seeking an entry into the bloc.
India is not a party to Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, the international pact aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, maintaining that it was discriminatory.