NSG, Masood Azhar issues must not be ‘stumbling blocks’ in Sino-India ties: China

Beijing: China on Wednesday said differences over India’s NSG membership bid and designating of JeM chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist by the UN should not be “stumbling blocks” in developing ties and asserted that both sides must respect each other’s core interests and major concerns.

Appreciating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that the rise of India and China offered an “unprecedented opportunity” for both countries, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here that it is very important for both countries to have sound and stable cooperation.

“As for Prime Minister Modi’s positive remarks, we appreciate that. The two leaderships are in frequent touch with each other and had extensive exchanges,” she said.

“The consensus is that the common interests far outweigh our differences,” she said in reply to questions on Prime Minister Modi’s speech at the “Raisina Dialogue-II” yesterday in which he outlined his approach for an integrated neighbourhood.

Asked about India’s concerns over China blocking India’s NSG membership bid and efforts to get Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Azhar banned by the UN, Hua said?the two are multilateral issues and both sides should understand each other’s positions instead of pointing fingers.

“I think we need to try to understand from the other party’s position. Respecting each other’s core interests is our basic position. We have common interests and we also have differences,” she said.

“The key is to resolve these differences through friendly consultation, instead of pointing fingers at each other and accusing?the other of neglecting core interests. For the two issues, they are specific issues, and they are not bilateral ones,”?Hua said.

On the NSG issue, Hua said, “India’s application to the NSG bears on the authority of the NPT (nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty) and China has been very responsible in approaching the issue.”

She said China wants a non-discriminatory agreement that is applicable to all the parties after which “we can discuss specific cases of application. The purpose is to uphold the sanctity of the regime.”

About the China blocking India’s efforts to get Azhar banned by the UN for his alleged involvement in the Pathankot terror attack, she said, “the technical hold is to uphold the effectiveness of the committee and show some respect to the rules of procedure of the committee.”

“We have been following these rules in maintaining contact with other countries. And this issue will be resolved when all parties reach consensus. We need more time for more thorough deliberations so that consensus is reached,” she said.

“This (Azhar) issue will be resolved when all parties involved reach consensus. We need more time for more thorough deliberations to reach consensus. So these two issues shall not be stumbling blocks for China-India to develop their relationship. We need to look further and seek common ground to remain and maintain our mutually beneficial cooperation and together seek a solution to these issues,” she said.