China says no change in stand on NSG, Azhar issues
India’s diplomatic efforts to get China’s backing for NSG membership bid and getting JeM chief Masood Azhar designated as terrorist by the UN seems to be making no headway with Beijing on Monday saying its stand on the two key issues “remains unchanged”.
“As for India’s application for Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and listing issue pursuant to resolution of 1267 (to list Masood as terrorist), China’s position remains unchanged,” China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing.
His assertion that China’s stand remains unchanged on both NSG and Azhar issues was made while answering a question on Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s remarks at an India-China think tank forum in New Delhi last week when he said China should not give a political colour to New Delhi’s efforts to access civilian nuclear technology.
Jaishankar had also expressed dismay over the two countries not being able to come together on the issue of “fundamentalist terrorism” at critical international forums, a reference to China blocking India’s bid to get Azhar banned by the UN. China’s second ‘technical hold’ on Azhar’s banning in UN is due to expire at the end of this month and the two countries are in talks on both the NSG and Azhar issues.
Officials here are not clear about the complex process of the UN 1267 committee where China, a veto-wielding member, has blocked India’s application twice already, while the rest of the members supported it.
On Jaishankar’s remarks that China should respect each other’s legitimate aspirations, Geng said as major developing countries it is natural that two countries need not see eye to eye on every issue.
“Thanks to the concerted efforts of China and India the strategic cooperation between the two sides have made all round progress,” he said.
“The two sides have been moving toward establishing a more closely knit strategic partnership for cooperation. As two major developing countries it is only natural for us to not see eye to eye on all issues, but the mainstream of the bilateral relationship is cooperation and the two of us are staying in communication on relevant issues,” he said.
The Chinese side is looking to work together with the Indian side to expand bilateral mutual beneficial cooperation and manage differences based on consensus reached by leaders of both countries, he said.
On the US Congress clearing the decks for India to become a Major Defence Partner of America, Geng gave a guarded reaction saying that both America and India are important countries.
“We welcome normal state to state relationship between different countries. We hope that the bilateral relationship and cooperation will be conducive to regional peace and development,” he said.