India's alliance with Japan, Germany and Brazil to push for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council is the country’s "biggest mistake", according to an article in a state-run Chinese daily on Monday.
Indian politicians, academics and media perceive “China as its biggest obstacle in winning the seat”, Liu Zongyi, a researcher at the state-run Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, wrote in the article in the Global Times.
“Beijing as a UNSC permanent member has not openly supported New Delhi's UN aspiration. India, taking this as an excuse, pressures China through every possible means,” the article said.
Liu said “India's biggest mistake is to ally itself with Japan, Germany and Brazil”. The article added: “First of all, these three countries have opponents in the region. Japan's bid for permanent membership will definitely invite strong opposition from China and South Korea.”
The article said appeals for reform of the UN Security Council (UNSC) are becoming “increasingly louder” during the 70th anniversary of the UN. The G4 countries – Brazil, India, Germany and Japan – are the most active in calling for a change in the Security Council, it said.
Since the UN General Assembly adopted on September 14 a negotiating text, setting the stage for talks on the reform, "some Indian media acclaimed that the nation's bid for permanent UNSC seat has been boosted”, the article said.
“However, in reality, it will take a long time to discuss only the wording of this document," it added.
Despite the Indian media's warm response to the move, Japan, rather than India, played the most active role in seeking a permanent UNSC seat within the G4 bloc, it said.
India welcomes UN move for Security Council reforms
China has maintained for long it is a mistake on India’s part to join Japan, whose candidature Beijing opposes for historical reasons. China has not gone beyond saying that it understands India’s aspiration to play a bigger role in the UN.
The article did not mention the opposition from China's close ally Pakistan to India's candidature for a permanent UNSC seat.
“Admittedly, the US once endorsed India's aspirations before. The reason behind such support is to rope India in to counter China. But Washington will not support New Delhi to obtain a veto seat. India has observed that, in the IGN, the US refused to contribute to the negotiating text. This is surprising to the Indians,” the article said.
“Uncertain of winning a permanent seat this year, Japan has already prepared to become a non-permanent Security Council member from 2016 to 2017. Earlier, Japan offered massive aid to Bangladesh in exchange for its support and has already won support from African and Latin American countries.”
The article added: "India, on the other hand, has no such plan and already lagged behind Japan in winning the non-permanent seat, for which Asia has a quota of only one each year.”
Last week, the UN took a significant, though procedural, step towards the long-awaited expansion of the Security Council, for which India is a leading candidate.
The UN General Assembly adopted the “Decision on UNSC Reforms” which puts before the body the text of a proposal for the first time in 23 years since the issue has been on its agenda. It set the stage for talks on the matter at the 70th session of the global body.
This is major progress for the glacial pace at which the process has moved so far, marking, at the same time, defeat for countries opposed to it, including China and Pakistan.