China on Thursday defended its stance on the issue of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, urging the relevant parties to get it resolved through dialogue and consultation in order to avoid further complications in the matter. “The 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council has clear criteria for the procedures to list terrorist organizations or individuals. China is conducting a comprehensive and in-depth review on the listing request put forth by the relevant countries. We still need more time and that is why we decided to put a technical hold on it,” a spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry told a regular press briefing when asked as to what prompted Beijing to put on a technical hold the listing of Masood Azhar by the UN Security Council. “It complies with the rules of procedure of the 1267 Committee. We hope that relevant actions taken by the 1267 Committee will help countries concerned to settle their issues through dialogue and consultation and avoid adding more complex factors to regional peace and stability,” the spokesperson continued. “China will continue its communication and coordination with all relevant parties in a constructive and responsible way to properly settle this issue.” China had on Wednesday once again put on hold a request by Britain, France and the United States to add to the UN terror blacklist the JeM leader. It was the third time that the UN Security Council considered a request to put Masood Azhar on the UN sanctions blacklist, which would have subjected him to a global travel ban and assets freeze. China has twice blocked – in 2016 and 2017 – attempts to impose sanctions on the JeM leader. The group itself was added to the terror list in 2001. In a note sent to the Security Council, China had said that it needed more time to examine the sanctions request targeting Masood Azhar. On Tuesday, China had said that ‘responsible and serious discussions’ were needed ahead of the UNSC’s sanctions committee meeting. “We already stressed China’s position on the listing of terrorist organisations and individuals in the UN Security Council 1267 Committee on many occasions. China has all along participated in relevant discussions in a responsible manner and in strict accordance with the rules of procedure and provisions of the 1267 committee. China will continue to communicate and work with relevant parties in a responsible manner so as to properly resolve this matter. Only by making a decision through responsible and serious discussions can we find a lasting solution,” a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry had said. Published in Daily Times, March 15th 2019.