The People’s Republic of China, which has repeatedly blocked India’s efforts to designate Masood Azhar a terrorist, is reportedly apprehensive about changing its mind, as it thinks it will make the multi-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) prone to attacks by Jaish-e-Mohammed.
According to an Economic Times report, China is thinking about changing its stand on Masood Azhar and not use the veto to prevent him from getting listed as a terrorist on March 13th when the proposal moved by France and supported by other UNSC permanent members under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 goes under consideration.
For this, it is reported that it will have to exert pressure on Pakistan to tie down security guarantees regarding CPEC. China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou’s visit to Pakistan, this month, is also said to be have been done in this regard.
The $62 billion CPEC project, part of China’s giant programme Belt and Road Initiative, intends to construct modern infrastructures in Pakistan, including highway and railway networks, energy projects, to bolster the country’s economic backbone. According to reports, around 10,000 Chinese nationals are working on the project. Last week, China also sent socio-economic development experts to Pakistan to gear up projects in areas like education and water.
The corridor passes through Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and also Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where Balakot is present. It is considered a hotbed of activities of JeM and was recently hit by air strikes conducted by India.
China, reportedly, has acquired a large amount of land near Balakot and the Karakoram Highway that connects Pakistan with China through POK also crosses Mansehra making them prone to JeM’s terror activities.
India has been persistent in its approach to declare Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. In 2009, India had moved a proposal to ban Azhar. In 2016 again, India moved a similar proposal with the P3 nations: The United States, the United Kingdom, and France in the UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee. The P3 nations had moved the same proposal in 2017, too. However, all proposals brought no fruit for India, as all of them were blocked by veto-wielding China. Even after the Pulwama attack last month, China has shown no difference in its position.