china's duplicity on countering terror exposed: we follow policy of non-interference: china on india's request not to shelter ulfa chief

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China's foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying

China on Tuesday said it followed a policy of "non-interference" in other countries' affairs over India's concern that it was sheltering United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) chief Paresh Baruah.

On Monday, India had asked Beijing not to give shelter to ULFA leader Paresh Baruah at a high-level meeting on bilateral security cooperation which was co-chaired by home minister Rajnath Singh and Zhao Kezhi, State Councillor and Minister of Public Security of China.

"I shall stress that the Chinese government has always adhered to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. This remains unchanged," China's foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said.

India had reportedly objected to the frequent visit of the ULFA chief to China and smuggling of arms and narcotics to the Northeast, newswire PTI quoted Indian officials. India also requested China to support the pending application in the UN to designate JeM terror group leader Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

India blames Azhar for masterminding the Khandhar Indian airlines hijack in 1999 and also being the prime mover for the terror attack on Indian Air Force base at Pathankot in 2016.

China said it would look into the "merits of the matter" while deciding the fate of Azhar. China has repeatedly blocked the bid at the United Nations to list Azhar as a global terrorist.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: "As per to India's request for the listing of Masood (Azhar) we already stated our position for many times," adding," on the counter-terrorism issue, China has always actively participated in international anti-terrorist operations. We have always made our decisions and judgements on the merits of the matter itself."

"We will continue to step up the security cooperation to uphold the regional peace and stability with parties," it said.

After the meeting with Rajanth Singh, the home ministry in a statement said that the two sides discussed issues of mutual interest, including bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation, and welcomed increased security cooperation between India and China.

An agreement on security cooperation between the Home Ministry and China's Ministry of Public Security was also signed by Rajanth Singh and Zhao Kezhi, an earlier MoU signed between the two sides on security had lapsed two years ago.

Kezhi is on a bilateral visit to India from October 21 to 25 during which he will also travel to Mumbai. The Chinese delegation also visited the headquarters of India's premier paramilitary force the CRPF.

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