China did not want Modi to benefit electorally from UNSC decision on Masood Azhar

China had to yield under the pressure of the United States that has been, of late, looking at India as a balancing power in the South Asia region

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New Delhi: Even as China was gradually yielding to the international pressure on it to stop vetoing the proposal to declare Masood Azhar as a global terrorist at the UNSC, it wanted the UN agency’s decision to come not before the end of the Lok Sabha election in India.

China was trying to somehow scuttle the process up to 15 May. However, this strategy did not work, as the United States set a deadline of 30 April for China to come around on the issue. China tried to push the deadline but failed.

Sources say that France, Russia and England were of the opinion that China could be given an “easier” deadline (with mutual consent) to comply with. However, they did not accept the deadline that China wanted: that of 15 May.

The deadline of April was set by the US and pressure was built on China for a written assurance about its stand at the UNSC when the proposal would be moved again.

According to sources, India had indicated to the US that, while a veto from China was unacceptable, India could consider a few concessions that China might demand. Nevertheless, the process of declaring Masood Azhar a global terrorist had to be completed.

Sources say India was not ready to let go in vain all its efforts and measures against terrorism with yet another use of the veto power by China. On getting this message from the Narendra Modi government, the US reiterated before China that it could not wait beyond the last week of April.

China then asked for a revised deadline of 6 May. However, the US did not agree to this and finally, the deadline of 1 May was fixed.

Yesterday, Masood Azhar was declared a global terrorist by the UNSC. Sources said that China had given its written approval last week. They say China finally requested the big powers not to bring the issue up for voting at the UNSC again as it would be embarrassing for it to re-use its veto power. The United States, France and the United Kingdom, which were the movers of the motion, accepted the condition, as did Russia.

Foreign ministry sources say that other countries are always more comfortable dealing with a pliable Indian government, which explains why China wanted to delay the UNSC process.

“Whatever role a foreign affair plays as a factor in an Indian election, China wanted to deny that benefit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” a strategic affairs expert said.

For all reports related to the Lok Sabha election of 2019, please visit this page.