China on Thursday said it respects the aspirations of India and Brazil to play bigger roles at the UN Security Council, while keeping mum on Japan's candidature.
About the Indian and Brazilian applications to become permanent members, China respects the willingness of the two countries to play a bigger role in the UN body, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
Hua, however, told reporters that Beijing would like to reach a "broadest consensus through diplomatic means" on UNSC reform. She was replying to a question whether Beijing backs Brazil to become a permanent member of the UNSC in the backdrop of China and Russia supporting India's candidature at a recent Russia, India, China (RIC) foreign ministers meeting in Beijing.
The joint statement after the meeting attended by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said: "foreign ministers of China and Russia reiterated the importance they attached to the status of India in international affairs and supported its aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations."
Hua said China pays high attention to the desire of Brazil to play bigger role in the UNSC.
India along with Brazil, Germany and Japan together staked their claims for permanent membership of the UNSC as part of a larger reform of the United Nations.
While China has backed India for a bigger role at the UN, it has expressed reservations in the past over Japan becoming a permanent member in view of the political and historical issues between the two countries.
China-Japan ties have deteriorated following a row over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, and also over some history-related issues.
In December 2013, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Yasukuni Shrine -- which honours not only the nation's 2.5 million war dead but also 14 Class-A war criminals from the World War II.
The shrine is seen by China, North Korea and South Korea -- all victims of Japan's wartime atrocities -- as a symbol of Japanese imperial military past.
All three countries suffered under Japan's military aggression in World War II. Millions of Chinese civilians and soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of Koreans, died.
The UNSC has 15 members, but only its five permanent members -- the US, the UK, France, China and Russia -- have the power to veto the council's resolutions.