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China opposed UNSC reform in 2005: WikiLeaks

Source: PTI
December 01, 2010 18:33 IST
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China opposed the expansion of the United Nations Security Council in 2005 by prevailing on the United States not to dilute the prime position enjoyed by five veto-wielding members by adding more as it would create "trouble" for them, according to a leaked US cable by WikiLeaks.

As the new emerging powers -- India, Brazil, Japan and Germany -- made a strong case for UNSC reforms mobilising international opinion, Chinese vice foreign minister He Yafei told a US diplomat that Beijing "was concerned by the momentum that was building on UN Security Council reform," the leaked cable said.

He told the US diplomat that the position enjoyed by current P-5 -- China, Britain, France, Russia and United States -- should not be "diluted" by making it P-10.

"If we end up with a P-10, both China and the US would be in trouble," US charge d'affaires in Beijing, Dan Piccuta, quoted He as saying in his cable.

"Moreover, it would be difficult for the Chinese public to accept Japan as a permanent member" of the UNSC due to historic discard between the two countries and asked Washington not to be "proactive" about it, he said.

The US diplomat, speaking in April 2009, replied that no decision had been made about which countries to support for permanent membership. "It was hard to envision any expansion of the council that did not include Japan, which was the second-largest contributor to the UN budget," he said.

For its part the US endorsed only Japan when Tokyo along with India, Brazil and Germany made the bid, which ended up creating a major debate in the international forum, with some other countries including Pakistan launching strong campaigning against it.

China, which keeps repeating a standard line that it understands India's aspirations to play a bigger role, apparently was caught unawares when US President Barack Obama endorsed New Delhi's candidature during his last month's visit to India.

Chinese officials told their Indian counterparts during recent talks that Obama's endorsement came as a surprise to them following which Beijing has said it was willing to discuss with India on the UNSC reform process.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was expected to provide greater clarity to India's case for UNSC permanent seat during his visit to India in the middle of this month.
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