China silent on Syria as violence, diplomacy grow
Thu, 19 Jul 2012 10:34p.m.
The Chinese government has kept silent about the civil war in Syria as violence escalates there and a vote looms at the UN Security Council on measures to end the fighting that Western nations fear China and Russia may veto.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon travelled to Beijing on Wednesday to convey to President Hu Jintao an urgent need for action to stop the violence amid a push to get Russia and China to back a tougher response to attacks by President Bashar Assad's regime. The two nations have repeatedly defied calls by the international community to confront Syria's regime over spiralling violence.
"I have explained how serious the situation is now and all the leaders in China have also shared my view that this situation is very serious," Ban told reporters in Beijing after talks with Hu and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.
"We cannot go on this way. So many people have lost their lives during such a long time," Ban said.
The Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement about Hu's meeting with Ban that the leaders discussed Syria, but did not provide details. On Thursday, many state media outlets carried reports on a deadly bombing Wednesday in Damascus that killed Syria's defense minister and his deputy, but most reports did not comment on China's position.
The UN Security Council has scheduled a vote Thursday on a new Syria resolution that threatens non-military sanctions against Assad's government if he doesn't withdraw troops and heavy weapons from populated areas within 10 days. The text is tied to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which could eventually allow the use of force to end the conflict.
Russia, a close Syrian ally, has said it will veto any Chapter 7 resolution.
Unlike Russia, China does not have longstanding strategic ties to Assad's government, but Beijing opposes setting precedents that could potentially be applied to its troubled western regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. China feels burned by Western intervention in Libya, believing that the US and European powers over-interpreted a UN resolution to attack the government of Moammar Gadhafi, not just protect Libyan civilians.
The state-run Global Times newspaper's Chinese edition said in an editorial Thursday that Beijing should continue to align itself with Russia in voting in the UN Security Council.
The paper said that no matter how the situation unfolds in Syria, Beijing should maintain its position of opposing external military intervention.
"The West only wants a result that benefits their interest, and does not care if the process is peaceful," the newspaper said. "Yesterday's bloodshed in Damascus has made the West very excited. We just want to say one thing here: no matter how the Syrian situation develops later, let the process be less painful for the Syrian people."
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21/07/2012 11:44:03 p.m.
China wasn't silent, in fact they said plenty. Only the american controlled media report only american propaganda.
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