- China hints it won't allow UN ban on terrorist Masood Azhar
- Repeating last year's stand, China says no evidence against Azhar
- China has also hinted it won't allow India into Nuclear Suppliers Group
Last year, China led the countries that said India cannot join the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG. It also refused to allow Masood Azhar, who heads the Jaish-e-Mohammed and lives in Pakistan, from being banned by the UN Security Council, which would prevent the terror chief from traveling internationally and result in a global freezing of his assets.
Both issues have been pivotal to tense relations between Delhi and Beijing. India blames the Jaish-e-Mohammed for several deadly attacks on military bases.
China's stymying of India is seen as a bailout to its long-term ally, Pakistan.
Earlier this month, ahead of an NSG session, China said that it has not changed its stand on India gaining admission to the group - Beijing's contention is that Delhi has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, the global pact on arms control, which is a pre-requisite for members. If rules are bent for India, it has argued, Pakistan must benefit as well.
India already enjoys most of the benefits of membership under a 2008 exemption to NSG rules granted to support its nuclear cooperation deal with Washington.
Today, China said that the UN remains divided over Masood Azhar because evidence has not been produced to implicate him. The request for a ban on the terrorist is to be taken up next month by a UN committee.
"At present, some members have disagreement over the listing matter. And China stands ready to remain in coordination and communication with the relevant parties on this issue," said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang.
Last year China had put technical holds -the equivalent of a veto- on India's application to designate Masood Azhar a terrorist.
"It is not that the burden of proof is on India to convince. The sponsors (US and other countries) seem to be very well convinced, otherwise they would not have taken the initiative to move the proposal," said Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, referring to the US, the UK and France pressing for action against Masood Azhar.