China said on Tuesday that it is up to India and Pakistan to resolve the issue of sanctioning JeM chief Masood Azhar at the UN Security Council since it had played by the rules while blocking the move earlier this month.
India has raised the issue repeatedly with China and expressed its indignation during several bilateral interactions in the past week. The issue also figured when foreign secretary S Jaishankar held talks with his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in New Delhi on Tuesday.
In a written reply to a query from PTI, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “We encourage all parties to related to the listing matter of Masood Azhar to have direct communication and work out a solution through serious consultation.”
She added, “China is willing to continue with it communication with all relevant parties.”
India has accused Pakistan-based Azhar of masterminding the January 2 terror attack on Pathankot airbase. Indian officials believe China blocked the move to sanction Azhar at the UN at the behest of its close ally Pakistan.
According to Hua, China was within its rights to block India’s move.
“On the listing matter of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to the Resolution 1267, I want to point out that China has been fairly dealing with the matter according to Security Council resolutions and relevant rules of procedure on the basis of facts,” she said.
“It is in line with Security Council resolutions and the 1267 Committee’s rules of procedure for China to place a technical hold on the listing of Masood Azhar.”
The UN committee that handles the sanctioning of terrorists and terror groups under Resolution 1267, she said, “encourages communication between countries that ask for the listing and countries where individuals or entities covered in the listing come from or live in”.
The rules and working norms of the committee are public documents, she added.
“Both China and India are victims of terrorism and have similar stances on the issue of counter-terrorism. The Chinese side supports the central coordinating role of the UN in the international cooperation against terrorism and takes an active part in this regard,” she said.
Hua also referred to the issue of India giving a visa to Uyghur activist Dolkun Isa and told a regular news briefing that Beijing had conveyed its concerns to New Delhi.
Isa, branded a terrorist by China, was granted a visa to attend a conference in Dharamsala. The visa was cancelled after Beijing protested.
Hua reacted to the cancellation of the visa and said good communications will ensure that the two sides handle the issue properly. “At the moment, China and India are in very good communication and we hope the two countries will properly deal (with) the relevant issue,” Hua said.
Fu Xiaoqiang, South Asia expert at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times: “India has made a cogitative decision, and (this) shows the common views of China and India in fighting terrorism and separatism, and the determination of further cooperation.
“It will contribute to the healthy development of relations between China and India,” Fu said.