China on Thursday criticised the United States for circulating a draft resolution in the United Nations Security Council to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar an international terrorist.

The draft resolution, circulated on Wednesday, calls for a travel ban, assets freeze and an arms embargo on Azhar, whose outfit had claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14, Bloomberg reported.

China has time and again voted against declaring Azhar a global terrorist. China, a permanent member of the Security Council, had previously prevented the Islamic State and al Qaeda sanctions committee from sanctioning Azhar. On March 13, China put a “technical hold” on the move. The time for China to list specific reasons for its technical hold ends this week.

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday said the US’ move had reduced the authority of the committee as a main anti-terrorism body of the Security Council. “The United States circumvented the 1267 Committee and submitted the relevant draft resolution directly to the Security Council,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang. “Such an approach is not conducive to dialogue and consultation between the parties concerned, and has weakened the authority of the 1267 Committee as the main counter-terrorism agency of the Security Council. It is also not conducive to maintaining the unity of the Security Council and will only further complicate the issue.”

Beijing asked Washington to abide by the traditions of the Security Council and safeguard the authority of the 1267 Committee and the unity of the Security Council. “We must act with caution and avoid forced promotion,” Geng said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has reportedly told China that it can lift the technical hold on United Nations’ listing on Azhar only on the condition that India demilitarises on the border and resumes bilateral dialogue with Islamabad, according to the Hindustan Times.