China on Azhar’s listing by UNSC: Showing ‘strong sense of responsibility’

Beijing : China on Thursday sought to justify its stance of blocking listing of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council, claiming that it was showing its “strong sense of responsibility” on the matter.

China claimed that it is “strictly complying” with “explicit standards and rules” of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on terror listing.

“(The) Security Council has explicit standards & rules on the listing. China is participating in consultations in strict compliance with these rules. China’s attitude shows its strong sense of responsibility and is conducive to real & lasting resolution of relevant issues,”China’s Deputy Ambassador in Islamabad Lijian Zhao tweeted, quoting the Chinese spokesperson Lu Hao.

The remarks come at a time when the UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee has received a new request to ban Azhar in the wake of the ghastly Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

Three of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, the UK and France – have initiated renewed efforts to get Azhar proscribed but China has shown no inclination about lifting its ‘technical’ hold on the proposal.

On the recent trip of Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xungyou to Pakistan, the Chinese spokesperson said, “It was to communicate with Pakistan on recent tensions between India and Pakistan. China is in close contact with both India and Pakistan to facilitate reconciliation and dialogue.”

Terming Pakistan as China’s “all-weather strategic cooperative partners” Hao said, “We always supported each other on issues of core interests. Pakistan reiterated that China is the most reliable friend. China is always the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.”