China foils bid to blacklist Kashmir attacker; US, India vow to keep pushing
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China foils bid to blacklist Kashmir attacker; US, India vow to keep pushing

News Service Reuters

China prevented a United Nations Security Council committee on Wednesday from blacklisting the head of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group, which said it attacked an Indian paramilitary convoy in disputed Kashmir.

India said it was disappointed at the block, which sparked calls for boycotts of Chinese products on domestic social media, while the United States said it was counter to a goal it shared with China, of achieving regional peace and stability.

The Feb. 14 attack that killed at least 40 paramilitary police was the deadliest in Kashmir's 30-year-long insurgency, escalating tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors, which said they shot down each other's fighter jets late last month.

The United States, Britain and France asked the Security Council committee to subject JeM founder Masood Azhar to an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze. The 15-member committee operates by consensus.

China placed a "technical hold" on the request, according to a note from its U.N. mission to the committee. China gave no reason for the hold, which places the request in limbo.

In a statement on Thursday, the U.S. embassy in New Delhi said it did not comment on specifics as the deliberations were confidential, but added:

"We will continue working with the sanctions committee to ensure the designations list is updated and accurate."

China had previously prevented the sanctions committee from sanctioning Azhar in 2016 and 2017.

"Discussions on this issue must be conducted following the rules and procedures of the U.N. Security Council and its subsidiary bodies," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said earlier on Wednesday.

In a statement late on Wednesday, India's Ministry of External Affairs vowed to pursue "all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens are brought to justice".

Many social media users urged Indians to boycott Chinese products, with hashtags China and BoycottChineseProducts the top trends on Twitter India.

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