China was ready to back India on United Nations Security Council reforms and delink its relationship with Pakistan to take forward ties, Chinese officials have said.

China was even ready to support India's move for a permanent seat on the UNSC if India did not associate its bid with Japan, top Chinese diplomats told Sitaram Yechury, Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member, in talks this week.

Mr. Yechury, who is here at the invitation of the Communist Party of China's (CPC) International Department, told Indian reporters that top Chinese officials, including State Councilor Dai Bingguo, who is China's highest-ranked diplomat, had made clear that they “sincerely want see a qualitative improve in relations with India.”

Mr. Dai also “bent over backwards” to explain that China was not against India's bid for a seat in the UNSC — a recent sticking point in the bilateral relationship. China is the only one of five permanent members that is yet to back India's bid.

Mr. Dai told Mr. Yechury that China's reluctance to voice support was more sourced in India's decision to put forward its bid along with Japan, Germany and Brazil, under the banner of the G4 group of nations. He said China could never accept Japan's bid because of “historical baggage”, and was hence opposed to the G4 grouping.

Mr. Yechury said Chinese officials also appeared to “give a signal” that they did not want to see ties with India “complicated” because of Beijing's ties with Islamabad. Mr. Dai also assured Mr. Yechury that China's presence in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) had been limited to “humanitarian assistance”.

Party building

Mr. Yechury, here on a party-to-party visit, also met with Li Yuanchao, head of the CPC's Organisation Department, to learn about “party building” and how the CPC, which marked its 90th anniversary on July 1, had succeeded in adapting its ideology to changing times.

There were lessons in this for the CPI(M), Mr. Yechury said. “There are certain issues where we have to do serious thinking,” he said. “That will be on our agenda for our 20th party congress next April.”

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