China is good friends with both India and Pakistan: Beijing defends decision on Masood Azhar veto case

New Delhi: Insisting that designation of any individual as terrorist by UN is a "serious issue", a senior Chinese official on Wednesday said there was a need for more evidence from India for better understanding to ban JeM chief and Pathankot strike mastermind Masood Azhar by the global body.

Liu Jinsong, Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister at the Chinese Embassy, justified China's action on India's bid against the Pakistan-based terrorist and said his country can't be the judge to decide who is right and who is wrong on the issue.

"At the UN, this is a very serious issue. We need to discuss (on the issue), we need some kind of understanding from the related countries, concerned countries.

Masood Azhar. Reuters

Masood Azhar. Reuters

"Pakistan is not your enemy right? It's your brothers, it's your neighbour. It is a nation (born) from one nation. You were one family before. You can't move neighbours. And you can have a new boyfriend or a girlfriend tomorrow, but you can't have your neighbours changed," Liu said when asked about the Chinese action.

Last week, China stopped UN sanctions committee from designating Azhar as terrorist, maintaining that the case "did not meet the requirements" of the Security Council. This is not the first time China has blocked India's bid to get Pakistan-based militant groups and leaders proscribed by the UN.

"Pakistan says India's position is not good for them, it is against Pakistan. But India says its position is in its national interest. China can't be the judge (to decide) who is right, who is wrong. With Pakistan, we are good friends. With India, we are also good friends," said Liu.

The Chinese official further said "We can't be on any side. We can't stick to one side. We can't veto, we can't (remain) absent. Only thing we can do is (to put it on a) technical hold."

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent comment that there cannot be any distinction between good and bad terrorists, he said China endorses the view and complimented him for trying to improve ties with Pakistan.

"Our view is Prime Minister Modi's view... There is no good or bad terrorists. So there should not be any kind of double standard.

"At the UN this is a very serious issue. We need to discuss, we need some kind of understanding from the related countries, concerned countries," the official said, adding "we are very pleased to say that Prime Minister Modi tried to do his best to improve relations with Pakistan. We like our two neighbours, India and Pakistan."

Liu said India and Pakistan must engage in talks.

"We always tell our Indian friends (that) if you mention something related to Pakistan then why don't you have some bilateral talks. You can have some agreement, you can have some close door argument," he said.

Ruan Zongze, Executive Vice President of China Institute of International Studies, said both India and China have responsibility to make contributions at the global level and both the countries are not "rivals", but "partners".

Ruan, who was Minister Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in the US, said although China has a good relationship with Pakistan, it does not endorse anything what Pakistan does.

"We have a very good relationship with Pakistan. And a successful Pakistan is good for India and good for the region. A failed Pakistan is a major threat. So that is why China is investing heavily to have a better and a stronger relationship with Pakistan. But that does not mean China has endorsed anything and everything Pakistan has done. We are a responsible country," he said.

Quoting Modi that the 21st century will be of India's, he said there was "convergence of interest of both the countries to work on economic growth".

"China does not veto. It did not veto (the move). You need more clarification, more evidence. May be we collect more evidence," Ruan said.

He added that there is a "trust deficit" between the two nations and the 1962 Indo-Sino war has a lot to contribute to it.

"The border issues are there, but it is a part of the British legacy. China has 14 land neighbours. Of these, we have solved the problems with 12 of our neighbours.

"But we have a choice of moving ahead on the bilateral issue and then incrementally build trust on the border issue," he said.

He added that India looks at China not from its lenses, but from Islamabad's lenses.

Updated Date: Apr 06, 2016 22:43 PM

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