Ahead of Doval visit, China sticks to its guns on Azhar issue

Ahead of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s visit here, China today stuck to its stand on blocking India’s bid to get JeM chief Masood Azhar banned by the UN, saying it was in accordance with “facts and relevant resolutions”.

Ahead of the crucial boundary talks between Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi tomorrow, China also said it was in “sound communication” with all relevant parties including the Indian side over the Azhar issue.

As both External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar raised the Azhar issue strongly yesterday in their talks with their counterparts asking China to review its stand, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying once again reiterated that Beijing’s decision was in accordance with “facts” and “relevant” UN resolutions.

“As for the listing matter China has already expressed its position. We support the UN central coordinating role in the world campaign against terrorism and China has taken active part in the world cooperation against terrorism,” Hua said.

“We oppose double standards in counter terrorism campaign. We have been dealing with the listing matter in accordance with the facts and relevant resolutions. We are also in sound communication with all relevant parties including the Indian side,” she said.

China’s assertion came in the backdrop of Swaraj’s remarks at the Russia-India-China (RIC) foreign ministers meet in Moscow where she warned the international community of “serious consequences” if it continues to adopt “double standards” in dealing with terrorism.

China’s “hidden veto” in blocking India’s bid to get JeM chief Azhar banned by the UN has cast a shadow on the Sino- India boundary talks beginning here tomorrow.

While Swaraj raised the Azhar issue with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Moscow on the sidelines of the RIC meet, Parrikar, who held talks with top defence officials here yesterday, said he took up the issue with them.

“What happened in UN is not in the right direction and they have to take a common line on terrorism which is in the interests of India and China,” he said.

Asked to elaborate on what “facts” China needed on the issue of Azhar, whose outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) was banned by the UN in 2001, Hua said she needs to check on it.

However, she said the Chinese missionin UN is in touch with relevant parties including India.

Talking about criticism that China’s stand of putting a “technical hold” on India’s move at the last minute to get Pathankot terror attack mastermind Azhar banned by the UN smacked of “double standards”, Hua said, “China is firmly opposed to double standards on the counter terrorism issue”.

“China is also victim of terrorism. We believe that only by working as one we can fight against terrorism and maintain peace and stability of the whole world. There is no doubt about that,” she said.