Beijing, Nov 3: China has called India an important neighbour and that it was ready to work on improving bilateral ties between the two most populous countries of the world. The country made this comment after it blocked JeM chief, Masood Azhar’s designation as a global terrorist by the United Nations for the fourth time.

China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiadong said on Thursday that China planned to improve ties with neighbours under the “neighbourhood diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era”. He said India was an important partner and they were ready to work with India.

“We are ready to work with India to promote constant progress of bilateral relations guided by this diplomacy with Chinese characteristics for the new era,” PTI quoted Chen said without as saying. He didn’t elaborate on his comment.

China on Thursday blocked India’s move to designate the Pathankot attack master mind Masood Azhar as global terrorist, saying there was no consensus among the members of the sanctions committee. India gave a sharp reaction to China’s move saying that it was accommodating terrorists for its narrow objectives.

The Indian governments have slammed the country, saying it was aiding Pakistan.

“This shows that the attitude of China is same as it was earlier and there is no change in it. This will weaken India and China relationship. China will never let down its client state Pakistan. China is misusing its veto power and overlooking the views of all the other countries which are supporting India,” defence exoert PK Sehgal told ANI.

Defence expert Rahul Jalali said that China is adopting double standard on terrorism.

“China had already said this that they will block this proposal. Earlier also they did this. On one hand China talks about curbing terrorism on other hand they block the proposal to declare Masood Azhar a global terrorist,” he told ANI.

In March last year, China was the only member in the 15-nation UN sanctions committee to block India’s move.