Speaking to SNI Opinion Editor Ashwin Ahmad, Jayadeva Ranade, director of the Centre for China Analysis and Strategy, believes that China’s ‘grudging’ change in stance on declaring Masood Azhar a global terrorist came about after Beijing realised 14 out of 15UNSC members would vote against it. The fact that nothing has changed in China’s relationship with Pakistan can be seen in the memorandums and agreements signed when Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Beijing for the recently held Belt and Road Forum. This suggests that China not only was offering ‘sweeteners’ to Islamabad beforehand for its change in stance but also was actively working with Pakistan to keep it off the FATF blacklist. In return, Ranade believes, Pakistan conveyed its nod to China signalling that it was okay with Beijing declaring Masood Azhar a global terrorist.
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