India needs to relook at China policy especially in the face of China’s stand on proscribing Masood Azhar, the founder of Jaish-e-Mohammad, as a global terrorist have at the United Nations. All attempts by India to black list Azhar has been blocked by China. Beijing has been anything but consistent when it comes to keeping Azhar off the hook; India’s actions in this direction had come to naught between 2016 and 2018 on account of China’s resistance. Even the UN Security Council listing acknowledges Azhar’s receipt of financial assistance from Osama bin Laden. China, obviously, sees the matter of Azhar’s enlistment differently – as a bargaining chip on the diplomatic high table. That can explain Beijing’s willingness to ruffle the feathers of not just India but also countries that have a wider span of influence in global politics, the United States of America among them. There are whispers that China’s inclination to act against Azhar is premised on the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan, a possibility that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has dismissed repeatedly. In spite of Narendra Modi’s fabled bonhomie with Xi Jinping, it is clear that India has not managed to win over China when it comes to taking effective steps against the menace of terrorism that is aided and abetted from across its border. Perhaps it is time for the Indian diplomatic establishment to reassess the dimensions of its China policy. The focus should be on inducements, but without compromising on India’s strategic interests. It will take more than just ‘patience’ or ‘perseverance’ to succeed at this tricky balancing act. The international community, too, should mull reforming some of the entitlements of the Big Five in the UN Security Council. Why should the veto by China be inimical to the cause of justice? On the humanitarian front China is not doing any charity by blocking India’s move on Azhar rather it is one way extending the unseen protection through the veto status in UN.
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