committee had already proscribed Azhar’s organisation, the Jaish-eMohammad. Beijing now has until the end of the year to decide whether to approve or effectively veto the bid; the latter outcome appears likelier.
Also high on Modi’s list of concerns is China’s continued stonewalling of India’s bid to enter the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). While Beijing’s opposition was not entirely unexpected at the group’s plenary session in Seoul in June, what was a surprise was its move to openly push for Pakistan’s entry along with that of India. This was a clear indication, one official said, of a new “re-hyphenation” in its approach to both countries. In fact, Beijing made this plainly evident when it sent its nuclear negotiators to Islamabad on September 23, barely 10 days after they had visited Delhi for talks on the NSG. China’s repeated support to a globally recognised terrorist has certainly been a reality check for the Modi government, which had harboured ambitions of rebooting ties with China, particularly after the prime minister’s landmark May 2015 visit when Xi broke with protocol to host him in his home province of Shaanxi.
As much as India can tolerate— and to some extent understand— China’s economic and strategic support to its old ‘all-weather’ ally, the open backing to Azhar—that too in the aftermath of terror attacks on India— has been particularly galling. While Beijing has stalled India in international forums in the past, it backed moves to list leaders of the Lashkar-e-Taiba after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
What is different on this occasion is that Beijing’s support appears to go even farther, with officials even publicly suggesting that India was to blame for trying to score political points with the ban—not the state accused of harbouring terrorists.
“There should be no double standards on terrorism,” said China’s Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong on October 10. The veteran diplomat, a former representative to the United Nations, is an expert on the workings The China Pakistan Economic Corridor passes through territories India claims as its own and has a military component