On Wednesday, China's effort, its third, to yet again help its all-weather ally Pakistan raise the Kashmir issue in the United Nations Security Council failed and the country came in for sharp criticism from the other permanent members of the council , particularly the US, and also other members such as Germany and Estonia.
According to diplomats familiar with the matter, China tagged Kashmir onto a UNSC meeting called to discuss "Peacekeeping in Mali" and tried to force an informal discussion in the "miscellaneous matter or any other matter" category.
The diplomats said that the Chinese representative claimed tensions were escalating between India and Pakistan and quoted the statement of Indian Army Chief Mukund Naravane on the 1994 Parliamentary resolution seeking Pakistan's vacation of PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir). The Chinese envoy further added that there were regular ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC). Beijing's representative went as far as to say that the United Nations Military Observer Group in India (UNMOGIP) should be strengthened with more funds.
Beijing's pitch met with a very strong US and German pushback with the former saying that "this issue does not belong here" and should be addressed separately. The US Ambassador criticised China for even raising the issue. Germany, a non-permanent member of the UNSC, took India's side and said progress has been made and that there was no need for the issue to be discussed.
But the biggest turnaround came from the United Kingdom, which had not opposed China's last move to raise the issue at the council in August, 2019.
This time, the UK Envoy made it very clear that Kashmir was a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and had no place in the UNSC.
The envoy said the British PM had talked to both sides and come to the conclusion that it was for India and Pakistan to sort it out bilaterally.
France, a very close ally of India, dwelt on the terror aspect and said measures had to be taken to deal with the terrorists operating in the valley. The French envoy stressed that there was no need for the council to even discuss the issue informally.
Russia too said that the matter should be resolved bilaterally under Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration, although it remained silent on the issue of whether the matter could be discussed informally.
A close strategic ally of India for the past seven decades, Russia has built very close trade links with China in the past decade.
While the two Latin American countries in the UNSC totally opposed the Chinese move, so did Estonia, whose foreign minister met Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on the sidelines of the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi this week.