China on Thursday sought to defend its move to once again block the United Nations Security Council’s bid to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad’s chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist, PTI reported. It said it needs more time to conduct a “thorough, in-depth investigation” on the matter.

Beijing on Wednesday once again blocked the move by putting a technical hold on the proposal to ban Azhar. The proposal to designate him under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by the United States, the United Kingdom and France on February 27, two weeks after the Pulwama suicide bombing.

The terror outfit had claimed responsibility for the February 14 attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, in which 40 security personnel were killed.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the technical hold is to ensure that Beijing has enough time to study the matter. He said China’s stand is in line with the rules and procedures of the United Nations Sanctions Committee, the Hindustan Times reported.

“Only a solution that is acceptable to all sides could fundamentally provide a chance for a lasting solution to the issue,” Lu said at a media briefing, according to PTI. “China is ready to communicate and coordinate with all sides including India to properly handle this issue.”

In a statement soon after China’s decision on Wednesday, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said it was disappointed by the outcome but that it was grateful to “member states who moved the designation proposal and the unprecedented number of all other Security Council members as well as non-members who joined as co-sponsors”. “We will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens are brought to justice,” it said.