Millennium Post

Talks on Masood Azhar under progress: Chinese envoy

China supports India on combating terrorism and a discussion to declare Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar a "global terrorist" is in progress, Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui said on Friday.

"The discussion is going on. I am so happy to see your Foreign Secretary in Beijing two days ago... discussing everything... so, just wait," Luo said while talking to media persons on the sidelines of a Chinese Visa Application Service Centre inauguration ceremony here.

"China supports India and other countries on terrorism... The discussions are going on. It takes time," Luo said.

India on Wednesday again asked China to declare Jaish-e-Mohammad chief and Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar an international terrorist.

China blocked a proposal by the US to add Azhar to the list of such terrorists, in addition to the three previous rejections in 2016 to the Indian proposal.

India's Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar was in Beijing on Wednesday to co-chair the China-India strategic dialogue with the neighbouring country's Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui and he raised the issue of Masood Azhar during discussions.

Speaking further on bilateral issues, Luo said: "Don't focus only on this issue. This is important but more important is bilateral cooperation."

He advised the media to focus more on the positive cooperation between India and China.

On the other controversial issue about Chinese opposition to India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG), he said: "It is the same."

On the rise of ISIS in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, the Ambassador said: "The Chinese position is quite clear. We are against any form of terrorist activities. On this matter, China will always speak in the same language in the international community to take concrete measures."

On the recently-concluded talks on Afghanistan in Russia, Luo said Afghanistan is China's neighbour and is crucial for peace and stability in Central Asia.

"The countries concerned about Afghanistan are making joint efforts to bring peace and stability back to that country and the region," he added.

Earlier, Ambassador Zhaohui inaugurated Chinese Visa Application Service Centre at the Shivaji Stadium Metro Station here.

"With the inauguration of the new office in the new year, I hope that the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre could further expand and enhance its services in order to promote people-to-people exchanges between China and India," said Li Bijian, Minister Counsellor, Chinese Embassy in India.

The centre will be operated by the VFS Global Group, a visa service management firm.

"We are also honoured that the very first 'China in Luxury' outlet in the world located in this centre, will go a long way in driving luxury tourism to China," said Zubin Karkaria, Chief Executive Officer, VFS Global Group.

The firm is associated with the Government of China since 2008 and currently manages visa services for the government in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and India.

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