China on Thursday defended its move to put a technical hold on the fresh proposal to list Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist saying Beijing wanted to give more time to all parties to find a “lasting solution” acceptable to all in the matter, even as it asserted that it was “sincere” about building better bilateral ties with India.

China said it needed “more time to conduct a thorough, in-depth investigation” on the matter of listing Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

“Only a solution that is acceptable to all sides could fundamentally provide a chance for a lasting solution to the issue. China is ready to communicate and coordinate with all sides including India to properly handle this issue,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

This is the first official response from China after the blocking the bid.

China for the fourth time, on Wednesday blocked a bid at the UN to designate Pakistan-based terror group JeM chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”.

In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, the US, the UK and France had moved a fresh proposal in the UN Security Council to designate Pakistan-based terror group JeM’s chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, a listing that will subject him to global travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo.

The Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee members had 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal.

However, just before the deadline, China put a “technical hold” on the proposal, a diplomat at the UN said.

Defending the move, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said Beijing always carries out “thorough and in-depth” investigation of the applications to the UN sanctions committee.

“This is in line with the rules of the committee and China sincerely hopes that relevant action taken by this committee will help relevant countries to engage in dialogue and consultation and prevent adding more complicated factors into regional peace and stability,” he was quoted as saying by media reports.

On being asked about the Indo-Sino ties ties, Lu said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping had met four times last year and that China was “sincere” and “ready to work with India to build on the consensus of its leaders for greater progress in the bilateral relations”.

Outraged by China blocking for the fourth time, responsible UNSC members had earlier warned that they “may be forced to pursue other actions” at the Security Council if Beijing continued with this policy.

“If China continues to block this designation, responsible member-states may be forced to pursue other actions at the UNSC. It shouldn’t have to come to that,” a Security Council diplomat told in an unusual tough warning to China.