|China & Syria Crisis (NY)
Chinese Bid to ease Syria Crisis
(DP-News - agencies)
BEIJING- China called Sunday for an immediate, full and unconditional cease-fire by "the Syrian government and all parties concerned".
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Li Huaxin, the country's former ambassador to Syria, will visit there for two days from Tuesday, promoting a six-point plan that Beijing issued on the weekend as the basis of a solution to the violence.
While announcing ambassador Li's visit, the foreign ministry spokesman, Liu Weimin, sounded a somber warning about the fighting that has sent refugees spilling into Lebanon.
"Currently the situation in Syria continues to heat up and become more serious. The conflicts between various parties in Syria remain stark, and the international community has differing views on how to ease the Syrian crisis as quickly as possible," Liu told a daily news briefing in Beijing.
"Although conditions are extremely complicated, and the situation remains tense, China still maintains that a political solution offers the fundamental escape from the Syrian crisis."
China said Sunday that "human rights" shouldn't be used as an excuse to interfere in Syria's internal affairs, as it appealed in a written statement for an end to violence and for negotiations between all relevant parties.
"China is following closely developments in the situation in Syria (and it) firmly maintains that the current crisis should be resolved through political dialogue in a peaceful and appropriate manner, and has made unremitting efforts to this end," an unidentified senior Foreign Ministry official said in a written statement posted on the ministry's website.
Characterizing the situation in Syria as "deeply worrying", the official called for an immediate, full and unconditional cease-fire by "the Syrian government and all parties concerned" but rejected any outside intervention.
"China is a responsible country and a friend of the Arab people, including the Syrian people. China adheres to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms governing international relations," the official added.
With UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urging the Syrian government to allow immediate access by humanitarian workers, the six-point statement makes it clear that Beijing supports UN leadership of humanitarian relief efforts.
"China supports the UN's leading role in coordinating humanitarian relief efforts. China maintains that under the precondition of respecting Syria's sovereignty, the UN or an impartial body acceptable to all parties, should make an objective and comprehensive assessment of the humanitarian situation in Syria and ensure the delivery and distribution of humanitarian aid.
"China is ready to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people," the statement said as it laid out China's stance on building a humanitarian corridor, while rejecting any intervention on the pretext of "human rights".
The six-point proposal reiterated that Beijing does not approve of armed interference to replace the Syrian regime and "believes that the use or threat of sanctions does not help to resolve the issue".
The official said in the statement: "Relevant parties of the international community should earnestly respect the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Syria and the right of the Syrian people to independently choose their political system and development path, create conditions and provide necessary and constructive assistance for the various political factions of Syria to launch dialogue, and respect the outcome of dialogue."
The statement also added that Beijing expects Kofi Annan, the Joint Special Envoy on the Syrian Crisis of the UN and the Arab League, to play a constructive role in bringing about a political resolution of the crisis.
It expressed China's support for the active efforts of Arab states and the Arab League to promote a political solution to the crisis.
"Members of the Security Council should strictly abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms governing international relations.
"As a permanent member of the Security Council, China is ready to earnestly fulfill its responsibilities and engage in equal-footed, patient and full consultation with other parties on the political solution to the Syrian crisis in an effort to safeguard the unity of the Security Council," declared the statement's sixth point.
China and Russia twice vetoed UN Security Council resolutions in the past six months that would have strongly condemned Syria and authorized sanctions or even foreign military intervention. The US and other Western countries have criticized China for blocking the resolution.
Li Huaxin, the former Chinese Ambassador to Syria, said Beijing's diplomatic efforts had brought about a greater understanding of China's position around the world. Li said that the latest proposals in the Foreign Ministry official's statement constitute a comprehensive and timely plan to solve the urgent problems of the Syrian crisis.
"Beijing has once again laid down its position on the Syrian issue, proving China is an active, responsible and constructive player in the international arena," Li said.
For his part, Qu Xing, head of the China Institute of International Studies, said he thought Syria is "at a crossroads" and where it will head depends on how all relevant parties pursue a solution for the crisis.
Qu told China Daily that the statement, which represents Beijing's repeated call for a peaceful solution of the Syrian issue, contains three new points and brings together the consensus of the international community.
"The support for humanitarian aid and the UN Special Envoy, as well as the emphasis on the Security Council's unity, reflect China's renewed efforts to increase the possibility of a political resolution.
"If the voice of peace occupies the mainstream, the hope of a political solution will grow," Qu added.
The Chinese envoy's trip appears to be China's latest initiative to counter accusations from Western and Arab governments that it and Russia abetted expanding violence by President Bashar al-Assad's regime forces by vetoing United Nation's two resolutions aimed at pressuring him.
The envoy Li visited the Middle East last month to discuss the Syrian crisis, and there is no reason that this trip will be any more fruitful. But the spokesman Liu said the crisis could be resolved only through political negotiations.
China has also long been reluctant to back international intervention in domestic turmoil. That wariness was reignited last year when NATO forces cited a U.N. resolution to protect civilians in warring Libya as authority for an air bombing campaign that was crucial to eventually ousting Muammar Gaddafi.
China abstained that from Libya resolution, but later suggested NATO powers exceeded the U.N. mandate through their expanding bombing campaign.
China has emphasized it does not want to open the way to similar action against the Syrian government through any international humanitarian action.
The United Nations says Syrian regime forces have killed more than 7,500 civilians since the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad's regime four-decade rule began in March last year.
Number of Comments (6)
The last par ("The United Nations says Syrian regime forces have killed more than 7,500 civilians") is quite false - that was an estimate of people killed in the fighting - (i) the UN did not assert that they were al kiled by government forces, (ii) nor did the UN say they were all civilians - you should retract and apologise
|| 3/7/2012 5:42:12 AM
It would be great to see if China could stop Assad's force from bombing and killing its people first. By issuing a statement without any action means China is keeping its blind eyes and allowing Assad's force to continue to kill its own people. At the end of the day, China and Russia are no different from a criminal.
|| 3/7/2012 4:21:47 AM
Syria has no oil why shall we go there
and endanger our soliders.
|| 3/7/2012 3:52:26 AM
The time to act on Syria is now.
Watching from afar a brutal regime kill its people day after day with impunity, so that it may stay in power, makes an accomplice of us all.
History will not be kind.
Senator McCain is right. The World has sat this out too long.
The time to act on Syria is now -- and we may be too late already.
|| 3/6/2012 8:17:39 AM
AS INNOCENT CIVILIANS CONTINUE TO DIE IN SYRIA, ONE ANSWER IS TO BOYCOTT CHINESE AND RUSSIAN PRODUCTS. THE UN SHOULD PROTECT ALL CITIZENS FROM INDISCRIMINATE SLAUGHTER BY THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT. CHINA AND RUSSIA ARE PREVENTING THE UN FROM SERVING THEIR RIGHTFUL PURPOSE, RESULTING IN AN INEFFECTIVE UN AND INCREASED DANGER TO INNOCENT PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
The question is- will the government of Syria stop the mass killing of its citizens and actually negotiate with the people??? Probaby not ever, so maybe some sort of shot term Intervention by the USA and take care of the Iranian nuclear problem at the same time or is Obama lame???
|| 3/6/2012 2:53:58 AM