China / Government

Envoy looks to objective role in Syria

By Zhang Yunbi in Beijing and Chris Peterson in London (China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-11 04:26

Envoy looks to objective role in Syria

Xie Xiaoyan, who has been involved in talks over the Iran nuclear situation and South Sudan, has just embarked on a demanding new mission — as China's first special envoy on the Syrian issue.

The 62-year-old, whose appointment was confirmed on March 29, said the post is a sign of China's greater involvement in resolving the issue and its willingness to contribute "wisdom and solutions".

Veteran diplomats said the increasing number of envoys comes from China's expanding involvement in global issues — including Syria — and its increasing national interests.

"It's because China upholds an objective and fair stance on the Syria issue that there are increasing calls from the international community for the Chinese to play a greater role," Xie said over the weekend.

Beijing has had a constant role in global efforts to tackle the Syria issue, communicating with both the Syrian government and the opposition to boost peace talks.

Xie takes his new title at a time when "special envoy diplomacy" is playing an increasing role in China's foreign affairs. The country now has at least six special envoys or representatives working on hot issues.

The United Nations and the United States have also appointed envoys — Staffan de Mistura and Michael Ratney respectively — to tackle the Syria issue, which has flared for five years.

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