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China Daily Website

Beijing maintains its stance on Syria

Updated: 2012-08-05 08:16
By Zhou Wa ( China Daily)

China reiterated its opposition to external unilateral force in Syria in a news briefing on Saturday, urging relevant countries to examine their own policies and motives rather than blame other countries.

China continues to support efforts at a peaceful, political solution for Syria and oppose outside intervention in Syria, Wang Kejian, deputy director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's West Asian and North African Affairs Department, said at a briefing.

"We should not easily close the window to a political solution, let alone start military intervention," said Wang, adding that a cease-fire in Syria should be the priority and solving the issue needs both a sense of urgency and patience.

Wang said China is open to any settlement that respects the fundamental interest of Syrian people.

"China understands the desire of Arab countries and the Arab League for a swift resolution of the Syrian crisis," he said.

"We have on numerous occasions stressed to various parties that the legitimate demands and aspirations of the Syrian people for change and for safeguarding their interests deserve respect," Wang said.

Wang also urged the Syrian government to adopt concrete measures to respond to the people's desires and stressed that the future and destiny of Syria should be determined by the Syrian people independently.

On Friday, China and Russia joined 10 other countries in voting "no" as the UN General Assembly approved a resolution condemning the present Syrian government and the UN Security Council's failure to act on the Syria crisis.

The resolution was not legally binding but took on added importance after the resignation of UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and as the battle for the Syrian city of Aleppo rages.

"A position of pressure on only one party will not help resolve the Syrian issue," said Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.___

"On the contrary, it will derail the political settlement of the crisis, cause further escalation of the turmoil and let the crisis spill over to other countries in the region."

Russia's UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said the main backers of the resolution, overwhelmingly passed by the General Assembly, were providing "mercenaries and arms" to the Syrian opposition and the resolution itself would not halt the civil war.

Some countries have criticized China and Russia for using their veto power at the UN Security Council to block strong Western- and Arab-backed action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Countries that have voiced unfounded criticism of China's position on Syria have their own geopolitical interests in Syria, Wang Kejian said at Saturday's briefing, adding that those countries "tried to hinder or undermine the political settlement process and are trying to shift responsibility for the difficulties onto other countries".

Rather than blame others, those countries should first examine what they have done themselves to solve the Syrian issue, Long Zhou, counselor of the ministry's Department of International Organizations and Conferences, said at the briefing.

Agence France-Presse contributed to the story.