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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Day after blocking UN move against Masood Azhar, China says will promote ties with ‘important neighbour’ India

On Thursday, Beijing cited lack of consensus among UNSC members against sanctioning Jaish-e-Mohammed chief as a terrorist. India was “deeply disappointed” by the development.

world Updated: Nov 03, 2017 23:51 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Vietnam soon to attend an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Vietnam soon to attend an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.(Reuters)

China on Friday said it was ready to promote bilateral ties with “important neighbour” India, a day after it again rejected a UN resolution to sanction Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist.

“India is an important neighbour of China. China attaches great importance to relations with India. We are ready to work with India to promote constant progress of bilateral relations guided by neighbourhood diplomacy with Chinese characteristics for a new era,” said assistant foreign minister Chen Xiadong.

Speaking on China’s policy with its neighbours at a presser on President Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to Vietnam for the APEC summit, Chen claimed that Beijing has always stressed on a policy that focuses on the principles of “sincerity, amity, inclusiveness and mutual benefit”.

“We have been following this concept (of building partnerships with neighbours) for the last few years, deepening our political mutual trust,” he said, adding that this was “the guiding principle” of Beijing.

On Thursday, Beijing had cited “lack of consensus” among United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members on sanctioning Azhar under a US-backed resolution. Signalling its intention to block the resolution, the ministry of foreign affairs said: “It is a fact that the (UN) committee is yet to reach an agreement (on the move).”

China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UNSC, has repeatedly blocked moves to sanction Azhar under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee (the 1267 committee) in the last one year. Beijing flatly denies that its close ties with Pakistan is the reason for blocking the move, stating that it has more to do with the process of collecting “solid evidence” against the alleged terrorist.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying insisted that China always upholds the “principle of objectivity and fairness”. “We judge the matter on its own merit. Pakistan is also a victim of terrorism, and we support it in countering terrorism in accordance with its own national conditions,” she said.

Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar expressed regret at the Chinese move. “We are deeply disappointed that once again, a single country has blocked international consensus on the designation of Masood Azhar, an acknowledged terrorist and leader of a UN-designated terrorist organisation,” he said in a statement, without naming China.

Kumar went on to say that double standards and selective approaches would undermine the international community’s resolve to combat terrorism. “We can only hope that there will be a realisation that accommodating terrorism for narrow objectives is both short-sighted and counter-productive,” he contended.

On the importance of Xi’s trip to Vietnam, Chen said: “This visit by President Xi will help open neighbourhood diplomacy with Chinese characteristics for a new era, a goal that will foster a new type of international relations and build a community of shared future for mankind.”

“This will be the overall direction for neighbourhood diplomacy for China in the next stage,” he added. 

First Published: Nov 03, 2017 09:55 IST

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