China not opposed to India's UN permanent seat bid

Party ideologue doesn't articulate support though

A senior apparatchik of the Chinese Communist Party on Wednesday said that Beijing did not have a policy to oppose India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, even as he stopped short of supporting New Delhi’s bid for the same.

“We believe UN Security Council should undergo reforms. There should be more representation from developing countries. We welcome more positive and active role from India in the UN,” said Huang Huaguang, who heads the research wing of the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party. “China doesn’t have a policy to oppose India’s bid for a permanent seat in the UNSC.”

Huang is one of the five senior CPC officials currently touring New Delhi to interact with Indian international and strategic affairs experts about external and internal implications of the change of leadership in China. Speaking at the Observer Research Foundation, he said that China favoured a more democratic world order as it was of the view that the existing order could not deal with the contemporary challenges before the international community.

The CPC official, however, refrained from categorically articulating China’s support for India’s bid for a permanent seat in the UNSC. He rather termed the process for Security Council reform as “very chaotic” and called for “better consultation”, apparently indicating that many other countries were also keen to have permanent seats for themselves around the “Horse Shoe Table”.

Four of the five UNSC permanent members– United Kingdom, France, United States and Russia – openly articulated support for New Delhi’s bid to enter the elite club. China, however, is the only UNSC permanent member not to do so.India, Germany, Brazil and Japan floated a group called G-4 to press for early reform of the UNSC.

All the G-4 members are aspirant for a permanent seat in the body. The G-4’s bid to get permanent seat in the UNSC however faces stiff opposition from the Coffee Club (or Uniting for Consensus), a bloc of Pakistan, Italy, Mexico, Argentina, South Korea and some other countries opposed to the bid of India, Japan, Brazil and Germany. China tacitly supported the Coffee Club in the past; the informal grouping suffered a sort of split after Malaysia and some of its other members extended support to India. Beijing till December 2010 maintained that it understood India’s desire to play a greater role in the UN. It, however, subtly changed its stand during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to India on December 16, 2010. “China attaches great importance to India’s status in international affairs as a large developing country, understands and supports India’s aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations, including in the Security Council,” read the Joint Communiqué issued after Wen’s meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. China also welcomed India’s election to non-permanent membership of the UNSC during 2011-2012.

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