Report: China Blocking India's Campaign for a Permanent U.N. Security Council Seat

November 20, 2020 

As a permanent member of the UNSC, China has the power to veto any resolution put forth by the council, including those seeking to expand its membership. China has repeatedly blocked India's attempts in recent years to gain permanent membership on the council "by laying down conditions impossible to meet. China says there are major differences among UN members over UNSC reforms and insists that a 'package solution' should be found to accommodate the interests and concerns of all parties," the Hindustan Times explained.

"There have been no serious attempts to come up with a consolidated text to begin formal negotiations [to expand the council] due to resistance by certain countries such as China that are opposed to the expansion of UNSC membership," the newspaper added.

Informal negotiations for reforms that would expand the council have been ongoing for the past decade. Despite this, the Chinese mission to the U.N. on August 31 claimed that recent efforts to reform the UNSC so that it may expand membership were put forth in "haste."

"China is ready to work with all parties to continue patient and extensive consultations in the IGN [Intergovernmental Negotiations] to accumulate consensus in line with the mandate of GA [U.N. General Assembly] decision as well as member-state driven principle and package solution [sic]," the Chinese mission said in an official note to the U.N.

"To start text-based negotiation in a haste or to impose a single document is not conducive to building a consensus and promoting unity," the Chinese mission claimed.

The IGN is an intra-U.N. group that aims to reform the UNSC. The IGN is considered an "informal" plenary, meaning its conversation is unofficial. Since its founding in 2009, none of the IGN's proposed reforms, including expanding the UNSC's membership, have been successfully enacted. For any of the IGN's reforms to make real progress, they must first be approved for "text-based negotiation," which is what the Chinese mission to the U.N. referred to in its August note.

In August, India claimed this impediment to IGN negotiation was a "smokescreen" to hide behind for those who do not wish to see any real reform to the security council.

"In effect, after more than a decade, there has been no tangible progress [towards text-based negotiations] at all. In fact, the IGN process has become a convenient smokescreen to hide behind for those who do not wish to see any reform in the Security Council," India's deputy permanent representative to the U.N., Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu, wrote in a letter to the president of the U.N. General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Band, on August 31.

"Consequently, there is a need to ensure that the IGN process is not held hostage, procedurally and substantially, by those who do not wish to bring about reform in the Security Council. If this happens, and there are indications that this is already happening, those who demand reform will be forced to look for other ways to achieve the same end outside the IGN process," Naidu warned in the letter.

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