External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Monday raised the issue of China blocking India’s bid to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist at the UN with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi at a bilateral meeting in Moscow.
“External Affairs Minister (Sushma Swaraj) raised the issue of listing of Masood Azhar in the UN 1267 Committee and emphasised that as common victims of terrorism, China and India should cooperate in combating this challenge. It was agreed that the two sides would remain in touch on this matter,” said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
India had earlier said that it has taken up the issue at a “fairly high level” with China.
Meanwhile, at the Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral meeting, Swaraj sought strong global action against terror networks. She warned the international community that if it continues to adopt “double standards” in dealing with the menace of terrorism, there will be “serious consequences”.
“India believes that the foremost challenge to international security continues to be posed by international terrorism. The RIC countries must lead the way in getting the international community together to counter terrorism through joint action, including at the UN,” Swaraj said.
“We must not fail in this regard. If we continue to adopt double standards in dealing with terrorism, it will have serious consequences not just for our own countries, but the international community as a whole,” she added.
Earlier this month, China had stopped UN sanctions committee from designating Azhar as a terrorist, maintaining that the case “did not meet the requirements” of the Security Council.
This is not the first time that China has blocked India’s bid to get Pakistan-based militant groups and leaders proscribed by the UN.
During her meeting with the Chinese minister, Swaraj said the relations have seen significant improvement in the last one year and favoured frequent meetings between the two sides to step up engagement.
“We are meeting after a long gap and I think we should meet quite frequently. Because things are moving very fast in the world and if we meet frequently, we will be able to deliberate on those,” she said.
The Chinese Foreign Minister said both the countries need to stay focused on expanding ties and should align “our strategies” so as to contribute significantly to the development of Asia and the world. “China and India are two major countries and two big neighbours. It is important for us to maintain very close cooperation. We are two developing countries and emerging markets, and we both face the challenging task of promoting economic development and realise national rejuvenation,” he said.
“We are strategic partners and as the world’s economic and political centre is shifting towards the Asia-Pacific (region). It is all the more important for both the countries to join hands because our cooperation will have far reaching and positive implications to the region and the world at large… So we need to stay focus on growing our relationship, align our strategies and step up our partnership, so that we can jointly contribute to Asia and world’s development,” Wang added.