Two days after China said it has still not decided whether to accept India as a member of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG) India has said it is giving top priority to its bid to enter the elite club.
Earlier this week, the two countries met in Delhi to iron out differences as Beijing had thwarted India's attempt to become a member of the 48-nation group at the Seoul NSG plenary in June. China opposed India as it is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which governs the global nuclear commerce.
"The two sides have had a substantive and pragmatic exchange on the issue of NSG membership, which is a priority for India because of our plans for civil nuclear energy," Indian media reported Vikas Swarup, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson as saying.
He asserted that on certain issues pertaining to development and clear energy, there should not be any differences between India and China.
"This can demonstrate to the whole world that India and China approach such issues with strategic maturity and are working together to narrow and resolve any difference of view. This is urgent and timely," he said.
Wang Qun from China's foreign affairs ministry and India's Amandeep Singh Gill, joint secretary of the external affairs ministry met on 13 September to discuss India's NSG membership. Despite the backing of the US, India lost its bid, but China is said to have now offered to hold another round of talks with India on the matter in October.
China foreign ministry said it would support a "two-step" process in India's case. "At the first stage, to explore and reach agreement on a non-discriminatory formula applicable to all the non-NPT states, and to proceed to take up country-specific membership issues at the second stage," it said.
"China, for its part, expressed its readiness to actively participate in the above process within the Group," the ministry added.
Earlier on Wednesday (14 September), China had said it was yet to "form a position on the accession of any specific non-NPT country". But it said the "two-step" process was already under way.
It has been reported that China is taking a leisurely approach to approve India's entry into the nuclear club, while the US has been keen on completing the process before US President Barack Obama's term ends in January 2017.
The US, on 9 September said it would continue to work "constructively" with Delhi and other member-countries to get India into the NSG.