Sticking to its guns, China on Saturday again justified its decision to block India’s bid to get Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist by the United Nations and described its stance as “fair and based on facts”.
“China always deals with the listing of 1267 committee based on facts and pursuant to UN Security Council resolutions and relevant rules in a fair manner,” Chinese foreign ministry said in response to India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin’s criticism of “hidden veto” in dealing with the listing of terrorist outfits and their leaders.
“We have noticed the remarks by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN,” the foreign ministry said in written response to a question from PTI.
“Both China and India fall victim to terrorism and share similar positions when it comes to combating terrorism,” it said.
China is one of the five veto-wielding members of the United Nations Security Council which plays a leading role in banning terrorist outfits.
“China supports the UN in playing a leading role in international anti-terrorism cooperation and takes an active part in international anti-terrorism cooperation,” the ministry said.
“In order to reach international consensus on counter terrorism, China encourage all parties to fully leverage the leading and coordinating role played by the UN and the Security Council and forge international synergy on counter-terrorism,” it said.
This is the second time that China has defended the decision to put a technical hold on India’s bid to ban Azhar, the mastermind of the January 2 Pathankot terrorist attack.
On April 1, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China dealt with the issues under the UNSC anti-terrorism committee based on “facts and relevant rules of procedures in objective and just manner”.
The latest response comes in the backdrop of India taking up the issue directly with China.
China too acknowledged that it is in touch with New Delhi on this issue indicating that its position remained unchanged.
The deadlock over the issue continued as both the countries are set for high-level engagements to discuss the state of bilateral ties.
While External Affairs Minster Sushma Swaraj is set to meet her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the Russia, India, China Foreign Ministers meeting in Moscow on April 18, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar began his first visit to China on Saturday.
Soon after Parrikar’s visit, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will be in China during which he is expected to hold 19th round of boundary talks with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi.
Doval and Yang, who are designated Special Representatives for boundary talks, also have the mandate to discuss entire gamut of bilateral issues.
The Azhar issue is expected to figure prominently in talks.
India had the same problem in getting the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba listed by the UN anti-terrorism committee when he was released from prison by Pakistan.
While it continued to assert that it is taking a fair stand, China is also reportedly asking New Delhi to resolve the issues with Pakistan directly, which has caused further alarm among Indian officials prompting India to take up the issue openly at UN.
While the two countries have improved relations in the last few years with high-level diplomacy, they hit a new roadblock, which officials say is similar to the one China began issuing stapled visas to the residents of Kashmir in 2010 to highlight its disputed status.