Nehru Favoured China for UNSC Seat: Find out Why

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Right from the moment China blocked the move in UNSC to declare the Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar as a Global Terrorist, the blame game had begun. While the opposition party Congress, blamed the failed diplomacy of the Prime Minister, the ruling party said that it was because of J.L. Nehru that China sits where India should have and the country has blocked the same terrorist not just one but FOUR times. The first time was in 2009 after 26/11 Mumbai attacks, then in December 2016 following Pathankot attack, again in November 2017 during which the proposal was by the US, the UK and France and now on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, it has yet again blocked it.

Of Course, the anger was towards China who is repeatedly blocking the move in the last 10 years and favoring Pakistan. With this, it also highlighted the fact about how China came to become a permanent member of the UNSC. Initially, the Republic of China (ROC) was the founding member of the United Nations and one of the permanent 5 members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). In 1949, the Communist Party of China won the Chinese Civil war in Mainland China and established and claimed the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the sole and legitimate government in China while ROC was confined to the Island of Taiwan.

ROC was backed by the US and its allies during the 1950s and 1960s and while PRC was a soviet ally and the US did not wish to have another communist bloc as a part of UNSC. However, during the 1960s, nations friendly to the PRC, moved a resolution to the General Assembly to expel the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek (a reference to ROC) and to allow PRC to represent China in the UN. This move was not supported by western countries, especially the US. It was during this time in 1955 when the US informally offered the permanent seat in the UNSC to India in place of China. The then Prime Minister J.L. Nehru mentioned this offer in his Letters to Chief Ministers on August 2, 1955. (Letters to Chief Ministers Volume 4 (1947-64) – Page 236 & 237).

Excerpts from Letter to Chief Ministers (Page – 236)
Excerpts from Letter to Chief Ministers (Page – 237)

In this letter, he clearly states that “Informally, suggestions have been made by the United States that China should be taken into the United Nations but not in the Security Council and that India should take her place in the Security Council. We cannot, of course, accept this as it means falling out with China and it would be very unfair for a great country like China not to be in the Security Council. We have, therefore, made it clear to those who suggested this that we cannot agree to this suggestion We have even gone a little further and said that India is not anxious to enter the Security Council at this stage, even though as a great country she ought to be there. The first step to be taken is for China to take her rightful place and then the question of India might be considered separately.” (Please refer to the Image above)

By declining the offer, the then Prime Minister J.L. Nehru wished to improve the Sino-Indo relations and strengthen the India-Soviet relations. He trusted China and considered its friendship beneficial in the future which proved to be fatally wrong a few years later. J.L. Nehru believed that he would get a permanent seat in UNSC separately as a 6th member which never happened. In fact, Nehru never pushed for it.

Ironically, a month later, on September 27, 1955, addressing the Parliament, Nehru categorically denied that a UNSC seat was ever offered to India. (Please refer to the Images below).

This was not the first or the only time that India got the option for the permanent UNSC seat. In 1950, after PRC was blocked from taking Chinese seat at the UN in order to replace ROC, Soviet walked out and boycotted the UN from January to August 1950, during which they didn’t veto the intervention of UN military forces in Korea. It was during this time that India was offered a seat at the UNSC for the first time. In a letter dated 24th August 1950, Vijayalaxmi Pandit, the then Ambassador to the US and Nehru’s sister revealed that the US has made a proposal of unseating China from the UNSC seat and placing India in its place. That was the time of Cold war and the US did not want another communist country (PRC) in that position and was looking for a potential ally in India.

Excerpts from Vijayalaxmi’s letter to Nehru (Source – TrueIndology)

To this, Nehru responded on August 30, 1950, that he would not take the offer as it would break their relations with China and they would continue pressing for China’s admission to the UNSC. Clearly, Nehru worried about its relations with China and USSR so much that he overlooked how the UNSC seat could have helped India in the future.

India lost a very important international position in a pleasing quest which proved to be very unfortunate because time has proved that China has backstabbed India many times in terms of territory disputes and supporting Pakistan and its terrorists. Blocking Masood Azhar the fourth time clearly shows China’s intentions towards Pakistan and India. Lack of foresight cost India dearly and continue to do so. Had India the Veto power, the story would have been entirely different.

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