Clarifying that China wasn’t “protesting” India&’s entry into the Nuclear Supplier&’s Group (NSG), External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday said the Union government was making its best efforts to ensure that India becomes a member of the elite 48-nation group by the end of the year.

"China is not protesting membership of India in NSG, it is only talking of criteria procedure,” Sushma Swaraj said at a press conference here, hours after the ministry confirmed that Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar had made a quiet trip to Beijing this week to try and win over China’s backing for India’s membership.

“I am hopeful that we will be able to convince China as well. I’m myself in contact with 23 nations, one or two have raised some concerns but consensus is there,” she said.

“We are trying to ensure that India becomes a member of NSG by the end of this year,” she further said.

As per reports, China has been leading a group of countries of the 48-member NSG that are holding out against giving India membership.

The NSG, which controls global nuclear trade, is to hold an important plenary from June 23-24 in Seoul when the membership application of India, along with Pakistan, are set to be taken up.

India has got the backing of most countries for admission to the NSG, including the US, Britain, Italy, Mexico and Switzerland.

China is opposing India’s membership on the grounds that it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and if the rule is relaxed for India, it should be done so too in the case of Pakistan.