China has blocked a statement in UN security Council which would have asked Sudan to reverse its decision to expel over a dozen aid groups accused of cooperating with International Criminal Court, which issued arrest warrants against its President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on war crime charges.
The issue over the French-drafted statement left the 15-member Council sharply divided with the several members, including China, demanding that it ask the court to defer any action at least for one year to give peace process a chance in Sudan, a move that western nations like the United States, Britain and France oppose.
Diplomats said that while asking Sudan to reverse the decision, China also wanted reference to the International Criminal Court's action which was not acceptable to the western nations.
Russian position was unclear but some western diplomats said Moscow could be brought on board. China, however, was different case.
All members must agree to a statement before it can be issued.