STORY: No effective India-China cooperation in fighting terror: Jaishankar

New Delhi, Dec 9 (IANS) In an apparent reference to Beijing’s blocking a move to include Pakistan-based Masood Azhar’s name in UN’s designated list of terrorists, Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said on Friday that though both India and China are facing the threat of terrorism, the two countries do not seem to be cooperating effectively to fight this scourge.

Addressing the first ever “India-China Think-Tanks Forum: Towards a Closer India-China Developmental Partnership” here, he said that “as diverse and pluralistic societies, we both face threats from fundamentalist terrorism”.

“Yet, we do not seem to be able to cooperate as effectively we should in some critical international forums dealing with this subject,” he said.

Jaishankar’s statement comes in the wake of China putting on hold inclusion of Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Azhar’s name in the UN’s designated list of terrorists.

In April, China had blocked India’s move to label Azhar, a decision that had angered New Delhi which has been trying to convince Beijing to reconsider the decision, and in September, extended its decision to put a technical hold on the UN’s 1267 Committee declaring Azhar a terrorist by three months.

The Foreign Secretary also alluded to China’s blocking of India membership bid in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

“Given our Closer Development Partnership and commitment to the BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India, China) group on climate change, we should be supporting each other on implementation of our Paris Agreement commitments,” he said.

“In India’s case, predictable access to civilian nuclear energy technology is key.”

At the NSG plenary in Seoul in June this year, China had blocked India’s membership bid on the ground that for a country to become a member of the 48-nation bloc, it should be a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“The broad basing of the nuclear technology control group is also helpful to a more representative international order,” said Jaishankar, who has served as India’s Ambassador to China.

He also said that though both countries have a commitment to a more democratic world order, “our actions in respect of the reform of the UN Security Council are in contrast to our approaches to usher in a more equitable international economic order through reform of the existing multilateral institutions and our cooperation in creating new institutions such as AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Development Bank”.

“These situations are paradoxical because we actually hardly differ when it comes to principles,” he said.

He said that one obstacle to developing greater common ground between India and China was “an undue attachment to the concept of balance of power”.

“While not denying at all that this can be a legitimate consideration in approaching international relations, we should appreciate that a more globalised world actually puts a greater value on shared interests and common endeavours.

“Indeed, a more forward looking outlook – both in the analysis and practice of world politics – is to our mutual advantage,” he said.

Jaishankar explained how the two countries have gained by putting a premium on developing the bilateral relationship and “not allow other considerations to unduly influence their progress”.

“Together, these developments have created the foundation on which economic cooperation grew and people-to-people contacts expanded,” he said.

The India-China Think-Tanks Forum was set up through a memorandum of understanding signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China in May last year.

Earlier on Thursday, at the inaugural session of the forum, Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar said it was time for India and China to together regain the reputation of being a global manufacturing hub.

–IANS

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