Beijing: Refusing to yield on its all-weather ally, China on Saturday announced the extension of its "technical hold" on India's bid to get Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist by the UN, days before it was to expire.
The Chinese technical hold was set to lapse on Monday, and had China not raised further objection, the resolution designating Azhar as a terrorist would have been passed automatically. The hold has now been extended for another six months.
"The technical hold on India's listing application submitted to the 1267 committee in March, 2016 has already been extended," Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told PTI.
"There are still different views on India's listing application. The extended technical hold on it will allow more time for the Committee to deliberate on the matter and for relevant parties to have further consultations," Geng said.
On March 31 this year, China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, had blocked India's move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader and Pathankot terror attack mastermind under the Sanctions Committee of the Council.
China was the only member in the 15-nation UN organ to put a hold on India's application with all other 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi's bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban.
Geng said the 1267 Committee of the UNSC "organises its work as mandated by relevant resolutions of the Security Council."
"China always maintains that on the listing matter, the 1267 Committee should stick to the main principles of objectivity, impartiality and professionalism, base its judgments on solid evidence and decide upon consensus among the members of the Security Council," he said in a written reply to a question.
Following the decision, the hold now has been extended in the midst of Indo-Pak tensions over the Uri terrorist attack, which was blamed on the JeM group..
China's technical hold coupled with its move to block India's membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) cast a shadow on the Sino-India ties. Both the countries have held several rounds of talks on the issues in recent months.
China's move to extend the technical hold comes ahead of the expected meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Goa during the BRICS Summit on 15 October and 16 October.
In June last year, China had blocked India's demand for taking action under the Council's anti-terrorism resolutions against Pakistan for releasing Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zaki-ur-Lakhvi -- the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
India had raised the issue of blocking by China of Azhar's designation as a terrorist at various levels with Prime Minister Narendra Modi also taking up the matter with the Chinese leadership at different fora.