China understands India’s desire for UNSC seat
10 November, 2010
BEIJING: China said on Tuesday it understood India’s desire to gain a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, where China is the only Asian member.
US President Barack Obama, during a visit to India this week, endorsed New Delhi’s demand for a permanent seat as part of a “reformed Security Council”.“China supports appropriate and necessary reforms to the UN Security Council,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular news briefing.
“China understands India’s desire to enter the Security Council. China is willing to keep in contact with other countries, including India, and participate in negotiations on the entrance of more developing countries,” Hong added.
Changing the make-up of the Security Council, however, could be a long and difficult process, which may face resistance from other permanent members.China and India have touchy relations on a number of fronts, including disputed borders in the Himalayan mountains. China has recently stepped up its claims to the northeastern Indian border state of Arunachal Pradesh.
The US, Britain, France, Russia and China have held permanent seats on the Security Council since 1971, when the People’s Republic of China took over the seat held by Taiwan.In 2005, widespread anti-Japanese demonstrations in Chinese cities accompanied Japan’s bid for a permanent seat on the Security Council.
Other states with a potential interest in a Security Council seat include Germany and Brazil. An expanded Security Council could also potentially include an African state, such as South Africa, Egypt or Nigeria.
INP adds: Asked about Obama’s assertion that the US would also support India’s membership for Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG), Missile Technology Control Regime, the Australian Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement, Hong said all countries should respect their international obligation of non-proliferation.
“China believes that countries under the pre-condition of respecting the international obligation of non proliferation have the right to make peaceful use of nuclear energy and conduct international cooperation in this field. Meanwhile, it should safeguard the integrity and effectiveness of the international non proliferation regime,” he said.
He said, “We hope that cooperation between relevant countries could contribute to regional peace stability and development.” The issue of India’s permanent membership to the UNSC was also raised during President Pratibha Patil’s visit to Beijing this year as well as External Affairs Minister SM Krishna’s visit earlier.
“China understands India’s aspirations at the UN,” was the standard phrase it came up with during the talks sounding cautious and ambivalent on the complex UNSC reform process. China has also voted for India’s candidature to the non-permanent seat at the UNSC recently.