Foreign Policy Digital

Masood Azhar Is China’s Favorite Terrorist

Beijing’s U.N. block sent a signal—and a warning—to Pakistan.

On March 13, China placed a “technical hold” on a resolution calling on the United Nations Security Council to designate Masood Azhar, the leader of the Pakistani militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), as a terrorist. Beijing’s intervention effectively torpedoed the measure. This marked the fourth time that China has prevented Azhar, who enjoys long-standing ties to the Pakistani security establishment, from being officially designated a terrorist by the United Nations.

There had been good reason to believe that this time might be different, and that Beijing would step back and let the resolution get approved. The fact that the fourth time wasn’t the charm speaks volumes about how deep the partnership between China and Pakistan still runs, and how far Beijing is willing to go to defend its “iron brother.”

So important is the China-Pakistan partnership that Beijing was willing to stick its neck out in support of a key terrorist asset of the Pakistani state who garners little sympathy outside Pakistan. At home, Beijing has sent to detention centers under the guise of

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