Wednesday, October 19, 2011

China backs Pak

China backs Pak bid for non-permanent UNSC seat, India upset

BEIJING: India's hopes of obtaining Chinese backing for a seat in the United Nations Security Council came up against a rock with the Chinese foreign ministry saying on Wednesday that it was seriously considering Pakistan's case for the coveted place. 

China attaches great importance to Pakistan's request for a seat on the UN Security Council, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said. She said Beijing is in favour of Pakistan playing a bigger role in maintaining international peace and security. China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners, Jiang noted at a news briefing.

Beijing welcomed India's election as a non-permanent member of UNSC last year but it has not revealed its mind about supporting New Delhi's case for a permanent member. China is the only one of the five permanent members of UNSC that has not announced its decision to support India.

New Delhi has been hoping to bring it around but the latest statement giving credence to Pakistan's case may prove to be a serious hurdle.

The statement comes in the midst of rising differences between the United States and Pakistan, which rose after top US military leaders said Islamabad cannot be relied upon as a partner in the fight against terrorism. Beijing is trying to assure Pakistan of its continued support at a time when western nations are losing faith in it.

Pakistan became the latest country to announce its aspirations for the UNSC seat when it raised the demand during the 66th UN General Assembly session in September. At that time, many observers suspected Beijing may have encouraged Pakistan to make the claim. The latest statement seems to support this view.

The official news agency, Xinhua, noted that Pakistan's foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar recently said that UN Security Council reforms "must be worked in a manner that will reinforce the confidence of the peoples of the world in this body and enhance its credibility and effectiveness."

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