The JeM, founded by Azhar, has already been in the UN's list of banned terror outfits. "We certainly think that he is a bad guy. We would like to have him on that list," State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said at a press conference when asked about China's move.
"There are some committee discussions that are underway over whether to add him or the entity to the sanctions list. That list is confidential under the United Nations, so unfortunately, I am not going to be able to comment on the deliberations at the UN under that," Nauert said.
"I'd have to refer you to the Chinese Government to explain why they voted the way they did, but we certainly think that this guy is a bad guy," she said when asked about China's action. "We consider the organisation to be a foreign terrorist organisation under the US law," Nauert said.
Notably, China was the only country opposing the designation of Azhar by the Security Council as a terrorist. All other 14 of the 15 members of the UN Security Council were supporting the bid to place Azhar on the sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban. Azhar is accused of several terrorist attacks in India, including one on the Pathankot air force station in January 2016.