Beijing, Apr 8: China today said it was in “close communication” with India over its decision to block New Delhi’s bid to have Pakistan-based terror group JeM chief Masood Azhar designated as terrorist by the UN. “China is opposed to all forms of terrorism and is willing to step up pragmatic cooperation with all countries,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters here. When asked about Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s remarks that India has taken up Azhar’s ban issue with China, Hong said, “on anti-terrorism we always act based on facts and in accordance with rules and regulations of UN to deal with the listing in the 1267 sanctions committee”.(Also Read: NIA court issues arrest warrant against JeM chief Masood Azhar)Also Read - Chinese TikTok Star Xiao Qiumei Falls to Death While Recording Livestream on a Crane, Video Surfaces

“We always keep in close communication with all the countries including India on this issue,” he said. Jaishankar this week said that India has taken up at a “fairly high level” with China the issue of Beijing blocking its bid to have Azhar designated as terrorist by the UN. Last week, China stopped UN sanctions committee from designating Azhar as terrorist, maintaining that the case “did not meet the requirements” of the Security Council. This is not the first time China has blocked India’s bid to get Pakistan-based militant groups and leaders proscribed by the UN. Also Read - Fire Breaks Out at Warehouse in China; 14 Killed, 26 Injured

The UN had banned the JeM in 2001 but India’s efforts for slapping sanctions on Azhar after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack also did not fructify as China, that has veto powers, did not allow it apparently at the behest of Pakistan again. Last July, China had similarly halted India’s move in the UN to take action against Pakistan for its release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, saying its stand was “based on facts and in the spirit of objectiveness and fairness” with Beijing again claiming at the time that it was in touch with New Delhi. Also Read - Disregards Common Sense, Defies Science: China on WHO's Plan For 2nd Phase of Probe Into Covid Origins