Loves me…Loves me not…

China’s support for India’s UN Security Council seat is by no means guaranteed

Like China, the United States too has taken the position that ‘a consensus should be evolved over UNSC expansion’. Though that sounds rather ambiguous, it is perceived by many as a reluctance to expand the Security Council and by implication opposition to India’s bid for a permanent seat. At the very least, this position indicates an unwillingness on the part of China (and now the United States) to be held to the September deadline that was proposed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan last month.

The Indian media is reading far too much into Wen Jiabao’s diplomatic remark when he said that China would be ‘pleased to see India as a permanent member of the UN Security Council’. As the Indian Express reports Wen was forced to make this remark more as a nicety than as a declaration of policy intent. At best, China is likely to remain neutral on India’s candidature; not least because of its increasingly worsening bilateral relations with Japan, who is part of an all-or-none candidature that includes Brazil and Germany. Tellingly, Xinhua, China’s official news agency makes no mention of the issue in its reports on Wen’s visit. China has signed a bilateral co-operation treaty with Pakistan recently under which the two countries will “enhance their cooperation in the United Nations and other international and regional organisations”. While this does not compromise China’s ability to support India’s candidature, it is cannot do so without violating its treaty with Pakistan.

Tailpiece: Pakistan and Italy, meanwhile, are busy serving coffee to the world’s diplomats. They claim to have attracted 119 countries to their camp, which opposes the expansion of the Security Council. India, Japan, Germany and Brazil claim to have attracted 150 countries. Since there are only about 190 countries in the United Nations, a lot of people are simply helping themselves to the free coffee.

8 thoughts on “Loves me…Loves me not…”

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  2. I read conflicting reports on this

    One, on sify categorically said
    “China will *not* come in the way of India getting a UNSC permanent seat”

    and almost simulateneously G-news threw up links which said
    “China and the USA are trying to get a consensus and Indian UN ambassador/MEA has reacted strongly to that”.

  3. w,

    Nutwar Singh, on his first trip to the United States after the UPA government took over, made statements to the effect that India would contribute troops to the war in Iraq. That, however, was not government policy at all.

    Similarly, Wen Jiabao may have been forced to be nice to his hosts, which got exaggerated in the press. He is on record on having said that China would be happy to see India as a permanent member of the UNSC. That does not mean China will vote in India’s favour.

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  5. umm, no, it wasnt Wen Jiabao – it was a foreign min. official – or someone talking to Shyam Saran, that was quoted by sify. And it seemed to be very officious in nature – the quotes themselves, which is what led me to give credence to them.

  6. I want to make a comment on the China-UNSC issue since I have covered it closely. Wen Jiabao did not make the comment out of nicety, I was at the press conference and the question was mine. The reason I asked the question was that I was aware that he had given that assurance at the highest level to the PM, but had refused to be on the record — Japan was the reason.

    Besides, Xinhua had the story on the 12th — about China supporting India for the UNSC.

    I dont think the process is going anywhere and India’s chances frankly are dim, but I wanted to clarify some factual errors which had inadvertently crept in.


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