China may continue opposing Masood Azhar’s UN ban, says position ‘unchanged’

New Delhi, December 12
China said on Monday its policy on Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar hasn’t changed, indicating it will continue to block India’s efforts to get the JeM chief sanctioned by the UN when the matter comes up for hearing this month.
Answering a query on India-China relations, foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said that “on the listing issue (under UN Security Council Resolution 1267) China’s position remains unchanged”.
Geng indicated that China’s position on India’s inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) hadn’t changed either.
“Thanks to concerted efforts of China and India, strategic partnership of cooperation between the two sides made all-around progress. The two sides are moving towards establishing a more close strategic partnership for cooperation,” Geng said.
“As two major developing countries, it is only natural for us not to see eye-to-eye on every issue.” General added both countries were “staying in communication on relevant issues”. “The Chinese side was willing to work with the Indian side to expand bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation to reduce differences,” he said. “As for India’s application to the NSG and the listing issue with regard to article 1267, China’s position remains unchanged,” he said.
China had earlier said the UN committee dealing with the sanctions was acting according to provisions of the UN charter and that this panel should work on true facts and make a decision according to the consensus of its members.
China extended the “technical hold” or used its UN Security Council veto against Azhar’s banning in October, which was the second time since April.
The foreign ministry had earlier said an application submitted to the 1267 Committee “must comply” with specific requirements of relevant resolutions.
On NSG, Geng’s statement means that China will continue to oppose India’s joining till a consensus emerges on allowing countries who have not signed the Non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) into the group.
India’s bid to join the NSG in June was backed by the US and France but faltered after China, South Africa, New Zealand and Austria opposed the application.
Beijing and its allies say only countries that have signed a global arms control pact – the NPT – will be allowed entry. India refuses to sign the pact because it would mean shutting down the country’s nuclear defence programme. China’s opposition was seen in India as support for its ally Pakistan, which applied for an NSG membership soon after New Delhi announced its bid.

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