New Delhi: China has exhibited a changed of stand on Masood Azhar issue after it was learned that the US, France, and Britain were preparing to move a resolution seeking a vote to list the terror chief as a global terrorist.
A vote at the UN Security Council will entail China to state why they are opposed to the ban of a wanted terrorist. The Chinese feel that this could dent their credibility in front of the global community and affect their mega project – Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – which involves infrastructure development and investments in 152 countries.
The Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui said on Sunday that his country fully understands the concern of India regarding Masood Azhar and said that he was optimistic that the matter will be resolved.
Luo Zhaohui said, “This matter (of putting Masood Azhar on UNSC 1267 sanctions committee list) will be resolved; this is only a technical hold which means there is time for continued consultations. It will be resolved, believe me,”
After China blocked the ban on Masood Azhar at the UNSC on technical grounds, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson had said, “The 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council has clear criteria for the procedures to list terrorist organizations or individuals. China is conducting a comprehensive and in-depth review on the listing request put forth by the relevant countries. We still need more time and that is why we decided to put a technical hold on it.”
India had expressed disappointment over the Chinese move and said that the country will pursue all available avenues to make sure that terrorist leaders involved in heinous attacks on Indian citizens are brought to justice.
The Chinese seem to be scaling down from their stand because of immense pressure mounted on them from the other members of the UNSC.
A US diplomat had said that a compromise with China was being worked out and warned China that other measures might be used if China does not relent.
France, in solidarity with India, had imposed sanctions on Masood Azhar and froze his assets a day after the resolution failed at UNSC on March 13. The ban could lead to a pan European ban on the terror chief.
China used its veto power 4 times in the past decade to support a terror chief wanted in many terror acts in the region. However, the Chinese cannot continue with this pro-terror policy for long especially when the country is on an investment spree across the globe.