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Modi to take up Masood Azhar ban, NSG bid with Xi Jinping ahead of BRICS

| SRIDHAR KUMARASWAMI
Published : Oct 14, 2016, 2:18 pm IST
Updated : Oct 14, 2016, 2:18 pm IST

China has continuously blocked India's efforts to blacklist JeM chief Masood Azhar, as well as its bid to join NSG.

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Photo: AP)
  Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Photo: AP)

China has continuously blocked India's efforts to blacklist JeM chief Masood Azhar, as well as its bid to join NSG.

New Delhi: The menace of terrorism, China’s continued opposition to a proposed UN ban on Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar and Beijing blocking New Delhi’s NSG membership bid are issues expected to dominate the bilateral talks between visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.

Modi and Jinping are likely told talks in Goa ahead of the five-nation BRICS Summit there on Sunday. There are indications that PM Modi will strongly take up the issue of terror and the need for China to be sensitive to Indian concerns at the bilateral talks with President Xi, with the Masood Azhar issue expected to figure prominently.

New Delhi is expected to make it clear to Beijing that opposition to terrorism is a global concern and “not an issue of political gains for India” as Beijing had insinuated recently on the Masood Azhar issue.

India’s objections to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that will pass through PoK and reports of China blocking a tributary of the Brahmaputra in Tibet as part of the construction of its "most expensive" hydro-power project are among other issues that PM Modi is likely to take up with the top Chinese leader.

PM Modi tweeted on Friday that he looked forward to deliberations with leaders of China and other BRICS countries, “which will strengthen our bilateral ties with these key partners”.

In a blow to New Delhi earlier this week, China had defended its recent extending of a hold on India's bid for a UN ban on Pakistan-based terror group JeM's chief Masood Azhar, saying Beijing is opposed to anyone making "political gains in the name of counter-terrorism". But on the issue of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) entry for India, China had reiterated its stand it is "ready" for talks with India.

Beijing had earlier also scuttled New Delhi's bid for entry into the NSG a few months ago at the Group's meeting in Seoul. China's needling of India on these two important matters shows Beijing's strong links with Pakistan, and its steadfast opposition to give India a greater global role in the comity of nations. Interestingly, without naming China but in an obvious reference to it, India had earlier said that there was only "one country" that was opposed to both UN Sanctions on Masood Azhar as well as India's entry into the NSG.

Notwithstanding the current unease in Sino-India relations, China had on Thursday said "sound and stable" development of ties in recent years has proved that the "dragon" and the "elephant" can join hands and peacefully co-exist. "Once, predictions about our future relations dwelled on 'rivalry between the dragon and the elephant'.

However, the sound and stable development of bilateral relations in recent years has proved that the 'dragon' and the 'elephant' can join hands to dance together," Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy Cheng Guangzhong had said on Thursday.

(This story first appeared in Deccan Chronicle)