India has been a long-standing aspirant for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The UNSC is the primary organ of the UN responsible for maintaining international peace and security. Currently, the UNSC has five permanent members (the P5) with veto power – the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France – and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly. India has been a member of the UNSC for seven terms and is currently a non-permanent member for the eighth time.
China has consistently opposed India's bid for a permanent seat in the UNSC. In 2005, when Japan and India were seeking permanent seats in the UNSC as part of an expansion of the council, China was among the countries that opposed the move. More recently, in March 2015, China once again vetoed India's bid for permanent membership in the UNSC.
So, would China ever accept India as a permanent member in the UNSC?
It's highly unlikely. China has consistently opposed UNSC expansion, arguing that the council should be reformed before adding new members. China has also stated that it opposes the idea of regional representation on the UN Security Council, which would be the case if India were given a permanent seat. For one thing, it could be interpreted as an Indian victory and a Chinese defeat. Furthermore, China may be concerned that India will use its UNSC seat to advance its own interests rather than the interests of the international community as a whole.
Further, China has its own aspirations for a permanent seat on the UNSC. In 2004, then-Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said that China 'deserves' a permanent seat on the UNSC. And in March 2015, Chinese Ambassador to the UN Liu Jieyi said that China 'has the right to be a permanent member' of the UNSC.
Given China's own aspirations for a permanent seat on the UNSC, it is unlikely that China would support India's bid for permanent membership. China has consistently opposed expansion of the UNSC, arguing that the council should be reformed before any new members are added. China has also said that it does not support the idea of regional representation on the UNSC, which would be the case if India were to be given a permanent seat.