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China blocks Masood Azhar ban; willing to promote bilateral ties with India

Masood Azhar

New Delhi: Despite ‘blocking consensus’ on listing Jaish-e-Mohammad chief (JeM) Maulana Masood Azhar as an internationally designated terrorist at the UN, Beijing on Friday said it was ready to work with India to promote bilateral ties. It’s for the fourth time that China has blocked India, the US and other nations’ bid to list Pathankot terror attack mastermind Azhar as a global terrorist, saying “there is no consensus” within the members of the sanctions committee.

In a sharp reaction to China’s move, India had said on Thursday that “accommodating with terrorism” for narrow objectives was both short-sighted and counterproductive. China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong on Thursday told the media that China attached great importance to its relations with India, reports news agency PTI. “India is an important neighbour of China,” Chen said, adding that China plans to step up ties with neighbours under the “neighbourhood diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era” enunciated by President Xi Jinping during the recently concluded key Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC). Also Read: China’s double standard will only undermine resolve to combat terrorism, says India

“We are ready to work with India to promote constant progress of bilateral relations guided by this diplomacy with Chinese characteristics for the new era,” Chen said. He also highlighted China’s efforts at making consistent efforts to promote bilateral relations and develop mutual political trust with its neighbours over the past few years.

China has been thwarting India’s efforts to declare Azhar as a global terrorist in the last two years. In March last year, China was the only member in the 15-nation UN organ to put a hold on India’s application. However, all other 14 members of the Council supported New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list. Another bone of contention is the 73-day standoff at Dokalam. The Chinese army has plans to build a strategic road in the area also claimed by Bhutan.

Highly placed sources in Beijing told PTI that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will travel to India next month. He will come to New Delhi to attend the Russia, India, China (RIC) Foreign Ministers meeting. There will be talks with the Indian leadership on the bilateral relations during the Xi Jinping’s second term.

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