More than 15 hours after the worst terror attack in the Valley, China Friday condemned the “suicide terrorist attack” and expressed “deep shock”, but did not budge from its position on the terror listing of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar.
Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi also wrote to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui said Wang condemned the attack, expressed deep sympathy to families of the victims and injured, and stressed that the Chinese side resolutely opposes and strongly condemns all forms of terrorism.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale also met Luo in Delhi and conveyed to him India’s expectation that Azhar must be listed as a global terrorist under UN Security Council resolution 1267.
China has been single-handedly blocking India’s bid to designate Masood Azhar, who Beijing condemns, but doesn’t yield on Jaish chief heads the UN-proscribed JeM, as a “global terrorist”.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told a media briefing: “China has noted the reports of suicide terrorist attack. We are deeply shocked by this attack. We express deep condolences and sympathy to the injured and bereaved families.”
In response to questions on the Pulwama attack, Geng said China condemned the incident as part of its overall stand on terrorism. “We firmly oppose and strongly condemn all forms of terrorism. We hope relevant regional countries will cooperate to cope with the threat of terrorism and jointly uphold regional peace and stability,” he said.
Asked about China’s stand on the listing of Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council, Geng said: “As for the issue of listing, I could tell you that the 1267 Committee of Security Council has a clear stipulation on the listing and procedure of terrorist organisations.”
“JeM has been included in the Security Council terrorism sanctions list. China will continue to handle the relevant sanctions issue in a constructive and responsible manner,” he said.
Asked whether China would be re-looking at the issue in view of the positive momentum in bilateral relations after the Wuhan summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Geng reiterated: “JeM as an organisation has been included in the sanctions list of the Security Council.
“As to the listing of an individual, we have always upheld an earnest, responsible and professional manner. We always acted in accordance with the requirement of the situation. We will continue to maintain close communication with India and relevant parties on this issue.”
— with PTI from Beijing