China again blocks UN move | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 15, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 15, 2019

BLACKLISTING OF JEM CHIEF

China again blocks UN move

Gives no reason for the hold; India, US vow to keep pushing

  • China prevented the UN committee from sanctioning Masood Azhar in 2016, 2017
  • Indian groups urge boycott of Chinese goods after setback

 

China prevented a UN Security Council committee on Wednesday from blacklisting the head of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which said it attacked an Indian paramilitary convoy in disputed Kashmir.

India said it was disappointed at the block, which sparked calls for boycotts of Chinese products on domestic social media, while the United States said it was counter to a goal it shared with China of achieving regional peace and stability.

The February 14 attack that killed at least 40 paramilitary police was the deadliest in Kashmir's 30-year-long insurgency, escalating tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours, which said they shot down each other's fighter jets late last month.

The United States, Britain and France asked the Security Council's Islamic State and al Qaeda sanctions committee to subject JeM founder Masood Azhar to an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze. The 15-member committee operates by consensus.

China placed a "technical hold" on the request, according to a note from its UN mission to the committee, seen by Reuters. China gave no reason for the hold, which places the request in limbo.

In a statement yesterday, the US embassy in New Delhi said it did not comment on specifics as the deliberations were confidential, but added: "We will continue working with the sanctions committee to ensure the designations list is updated and accurate."

China had previously prevented the sanctions committee from sanctioning Azhar in 2016 and 2017.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said yesterday that the Security Council has specific procedures for naming a person or organization on the terror list.

China conducted a "comprehensive and thorough evaluation," Lu told reporters. "We still need more time."

In a statement late on Wednesday, India's Ministry of External Affairs vowed to pursue "all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens are brought to justice".

Many social media users, groups urged Indians to boycott Chinese products, with hashtags China and BoycottChineseProducts the top trends on Twitter India.

"There is really no moral rationale for blocking this proposal (on Azhar)," Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group conglomerate, said on Twitter.

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