China has once again categorically stated that it will continue to block New Delhi’s application to join the influential Nuclear Suppliers Group until a consensus emerged on both issues and India’s efforts to ban Masood Azhar.
The Chinese ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) also said there were “differing” views among members of the United Nations Security Council on listing Azhar Msood, who heads Jaish-e-Mohammad, as a “terrorist”.
“I have stated China’s position. I would like to reiterate that the UN committee dealing with the listing does it according to provisions of the UN charter. We maintain that this committee should work on true facts and make a decision according to consensus of its members,” Geng Shuang, MFA spokesperson said at a regular press conference. “All parties are divided in listing of the relevant people. And this is why China has put on hold (the banning of Azhar),” Geng said.
China extended the “technical hold” or used its UNSC veto against Azhar’s banning earlier this month – the second time after April. Shuang also said there was no change in Beijing’s opposition to India’s application to join the 48-nation NSG.
“China’s position has not changed regarding the joining of the NSG by India,” Geng said indicating that it would 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 in June was backed by the United States 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. Geng said he had to “underscore” that in recent years China and India relations had been making “great headway despite some disputes”.
He said that the “mainstream of bilateral relations has been positive” and “co-operation far outweighs competition”. “Hope the two countries can continue with dialogue and co-operation to exchange views on some disputes, seek solutions and properly manage relevant disputes,” Geng said.
“We are willing to work with India to implement the leaders’ consensus, strengthen communication and co-operation and deepen pragmatic co-operation across the board,” Geng said.