China falls short of backing India for a permanent U.N. seat

File photo of Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei.

File photo of Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei.

China, on Monday, fell short of backing India for permanent membership of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC), despite supporting New Delhi’s aspiration of playing a big role in international institutions.

Asked to comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion that India deserved a rightful place in the UN Security Council, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei acknowledged that “India is an important developing country in international affairs”.

“We understand and support India’s desire of playing a big role in international institutions including the United Nations,” he added.

However, the Chinese side made it clear that it was disinclined to unilaterally support India for a permanent slot, preferring instead a collective consensus-based approach, which would be part of a larger “package” of UNSC reforms.

“The Chinese side will make efforts with all parties to strive for a package that accommodates the concerns of all parties through extensive democratic consultations,” Mr. Hong observed.

Asked to clarify on the contents of the “package,” Mr. Hong stated that the “reforms of the UN Security Council concerns a wide range of elements,” which are of interest to all members of the UNSC. “We maintain that we should strive for a consensus through democratic consultation. The package is mainly about security council reforms.”

The spokesman’s remarks were in tune with the joint statement issued in February by the Russia-India-China (RIC) grouping, which supported New Delhi’s aspiration for a bigger U.N. role.

Analysts say that China’s hesitation in backing India for a permanent seat—unlike other permanent members of the Council —is driven by two concerns: Japan and Pakistan.

As part of G-4 countries, India has been slotted for possible UNSC membership with with Brazil, Germany and Japan, China’s regional rival. Besides, China has a special relationship with Pakistan, which is staunchly opposed to India’s candidature.

Mr. Hong said that China was committed to give greater voice to developing countries in the UNSC.

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Printable version | May 17, 2022 1:00:42 pm |