China on Thursday accused the US of undermining the authority of the UN anti-terrorism committee by “forcefully moving” a resolution in the UNSC to list Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, saying America’s move only “complicates” the issue.
Weeks after China for the fourth time placed a hold on the listing of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, the US on Wednesday circulated a draft resolution to the UN Security Council — with British and French support — to blacklist the JeM chief.
Asked about the development, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing that Washington move only complicates the issue.
“This is not in line with 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,” he said.
“We urge the US to act cautiously and avoid forcefully moving forward this resolution draft,” Geng added.
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 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 proposal was moved by the three permanent veto-wielding members of the 15-nation Security Council.
However, just before the deadline, China put a “technical hold” on the proposal, which India has termed as disappointing.
Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) led by Azhar claimed responsibility for the February 14 terrorist attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama district which killed over 44 CRPF personnel.
The draft resolution obtained by AFP condemns the suicide bombing and decides that Azhar will be added to the UN Al-Qaeda and Islamic State sanctions blacklist.
It remained unclear when a vote would be held on the draft resolution, which could face a veto from China, one of the five permanent council members along with Britain, France, Russia and the United States.
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.
Azhar is linked to terrorism for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities” carried out by JeM, according to an annexe to the draft.
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,” foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.
Last week, a senior Trump administration official expressing deep disappointment over Beijing’s decision to block a bid in the UN to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist” had said that China has a responsibility not to shield Pakistan.