China on Wednesday once again hit out at the US for threatening to use “all available resources” to designate Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a ”global terrorist”, saying Washington’s move is complicating the issue and not conducive to peace and stability in South Asia.
Weeks after China for the fourth time placed a hold on the listing of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, the US last week circulated a draft resolution to the UN Security Council — with British and French support — to blacklist the JeM chief.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing that China is adopting a constructive and reasonable stand on the issue to resolve it properly.
He was responding to a question about State Department spokesman’s assertions that the US will use all “available resources” to blacklist Masood Azhar.
The US on Tuesday reportedly said it will “utilise all available resources” to ensure Jaish-e-Mohammad founder Masood Azhar was held accountable.
The State Department was responding to China criticising the US, France and the United Kingdom for moving a draft resolution at the UNSC as “not a constructive move” and that it “set a bad example”.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said a vast majority of the UNSC members believe that efforts should be made under the 1267 Sanctions Committee to solve this designation through dialogue and consultation instead of pushing the draft resolution at the UNSC.
“Also China has been working hard with relevant sides and is making positive results. The US knows that very well. Under such circumstances the US still insists on pushing the draft resolution, doesn’t make any sense,” he reiterated.
He said the US’ action is not consistent with the UN rules and customary practice and sets a bad precedent.
“It is only complicating the issue and not conducive to peace and stability in South Asia,” he said.
“China will continue to adopt a constructive and responsible attitude to participate in discussions and deliberations on the designation issue,” he said.
“We hope this issue will finally be resolved properly,” he said.
China, on Monday, criticised the US for directly taking the issue of listing Masood Azhar as global terrorist to UN Security Council after it had put a technical hold on the US, the UK and French resolution earlier to declare him a global terrorist in the UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee dealing with counter-terrorism issues.
Geng had claimed that a “positive progress” has been made to resolve the vexed issue and accused the US of scuttling its efforts.
Earlier last week, the US circulated a draft resolution condemning the suicide bombing and decided that Azhar will be added to the UN Al-Qaeda and Islamic State sanctions blacklist.
Following this, China hit back saying, “This is not in line with the resolution of the issue through dialogue and negotiations. This has reduced the authority of the Committee as a main anti-terrorism body of the UNSC and this is not conducive to the solidarity and only complicates the issue”.
In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, the US, UK and France had moved a fresh proposal in the UN Security Council to designate Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, a listing that will subject him to global travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo.
However, just before the deadline, China put a “technical hold” on the proposal.
There have been four attempts through a UN sanctions committee to add Azhar to the blacklist. China blocked three previous requests and put a technical hold on the latest one, which could last up to nine months. JeM itself has been on the UN terror list since 2001.
China has been accused by Western diplomats of protecting Pakistan’s interests in the latest standoff with India.
But Beijing has defended its decision by arguing it had adopted a “responsible attitude” in dealing “with this issue with relevant parties via thorough consultation”.