China opposes India’s call for quick UNSC reforms

Beijing, February 17 (Agencies): Amid a call by G-4 countries comprising India, Brazil, Germany and Japan for a quick UNSC reform, the state-run Chinese media has said that any attempt to rush through “premature plans” could harm the process and undermine the world body’s unity. “The G4 alleged in their joint statement that their proposal for enlarging the Council is widely supported by UN member nations, but did not indicate how many or which countries have sided with them,” China Daily said in an editorial titled ‘UN reform will take time’.
Hence, it is still too early to say that there is now a broad acceptance among the 192 UN member countries on how to reform the world’s supreme peace and security body, it said. The editorial came days after the G-4 group of nations, all aspirants to permanent membership of the Council, sought a “a concrete outcome” of the negotiations on the reform process by the end of the current session of the UN General Assembly in mid-September “Given the complexity and importance of reforming the Security Council, any attempt to rush through premature plans could harm the reform process. It would also run the risk of undermining the unity of UN member nations and jeopardise the interests of all parties,” the editorial said.
UN member nations, while making efforts to accommodate the interests and concerns of all the parties, should seek a package of solutions for the reform based on broad and democratic consultation, it said. “Priority should be given to increasing the representation of developing countries.” “Such an arduous task will need time and patience. The attempt to set a timetable for it is not a responsible approach,” it . Another state-run publication ‘Beijing Review’ in its article titled ‘New Blood Propels Change’ said the ‘Uniting for Consensus Group’ of Pakistan, Mexico, South Korea and Italy, which aims to counter G-4 countries, “has been weakened to a degree” that the clamour for reforms is getting “increasingly stronger.” “Fierce competition will be inevitable during the reform of the Security Council. The number of members and veto power are the key issues of the reform. These matters touch on the redistribution of power in the most prestigious organisation of the international system. It is a matter of status and dignity for a country,” it said.
“What the members are competing for are strategic resources. Therefore, it has obvious features of a zero-sum game. One country’s gain is another country’s loss. That’s why it is difficult to reach a compromise,” it said. Moreover, the reform is being used as a bargaining chip by major countries to achieve strategic interests, the report said. “This situation means that reform of the UN Security Council will be very hard to accomplish,” it said adding China is in a favourable position on the reform issue. “As a permanent member of the UNSC it (China) has veto power. No one can ignore China’s influence. No matter how reform goes, China will be able to keep its current status,” it said. “Reform should promote a multi-polar world with a strengthened international balance of power, democratic international relations and a rational international system. This is just the goal of China,” the report said.
With previous experience in tough negotiations, China has good knowledge of the reform. “It has adopted rational, prudent and responsible policies in this respect. It advocates a comprehensive solution with priority given to developing countries, especially African countries. It is essential for China to take into account the interests of all parties on a multilateral basis,” it said. “The new Council provides new opportunities for China to cooperate with other emerging countries. It is also important for China to pay attention to those emerging countries, while continuing to support African countries’ efforts to obtain a permanent seat,” it said.