Beijing: Ahead of its strategic dialogue with India, China yesterday said "solid evidence" was needed for it to back efforts to get JeM chief Masood Azhar banned by the UN.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and China's Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui will hold a new round of strategic dialogue in Beijing on February 22, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang told a media briefing here.

The two sides will have an in-depth exchange of views on the international situation and other regional and global issues of mutual interest in the strategic dialogue which is an important communication mechanism between India and China, he said.

On the Azhar issue, over which China has put a technical hold on the recent US move to list the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief as a terrorist in the 1267 committee of the UN Security Council, Geng said China will support the move if there is solid evidence.

"China upholds principles of objectivity, impartiality and professionalism and takes part in relevant discussions. Whether last year's application by India or this year's by (the) relevant country, our position is consistent," Geng said.

"Our criteria is only one, we need solid evidence. If there is solid evidence the application can be approved. If there is no solid evidence there is hardly consensus," he said.

Stating that China has reiterated its stand several times, Geng said, "On (the) 1267 committee, the latest development is relevant countries have made another application with the committee. Relevant members of (the) committee are in consultation and relevant parties have failed to reach consensus so far."

On India’s entry into the NSG, he said, "We stick to two-step approach namely, first NSG members need to arrive at a set of principles for the entry of non-NPT state parties into NSG and then move forward discussions of specific cases," Geng said.