China urges Syria to fulfill reform promises

Updated: 2011-10-26 07:40

(China Daily)

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BEIJING - China on Tuesday called on the Syrian government to fulfill its reform promises and respond to its people's reasonable expectations and appeals, ahead of a visit to Damascus by Beijing's special envoy to the Middle East.

"We hope all parties concerned in Syria can make the national interest and people's interests their priority," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular news conference, adding that "violence and bloody conflict should be abandoned and avoided".

Jiang also urged all parties in Syria to positively take part in the peace process and bring constructive attitudes to the table.

She said the international community should play a constructive role in easing the tension in Syria, promoting political dialogue to defuse differences and maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East.

Chinese envoy Wu Sike will visit Syria and Egypt from Wednesday to Oct 30, Jiang added, without providing details.

Cheng Shuangqing, an expert on Syria at China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the visit by the Chinese envoy is aimed to persuade the Syrian government to satisfy its people's expectations, so as to bring an end to the unrest in the country.

Chen said since the concerned parties in Syria are deadlocked, China is concerned that Syria may follow the path of Libya, where a foreign military intervention led to the collapse of the government of former leader Muammar Gadhafi.

"If the parties in Syria do not compromise, it will give Western countries an excuse to interfere," said Chen.

Syria has been wracked by months of unrest that its government blames on a foreign conspiracy and armed thugs. A recent UN statement put the number of civilians killed during the past six months in Syria at 2,600, while Syria blames foreign-backed armed gangs, who it says have killed 700 security personnel.

China and Russia on Oct 4 vetoed a European-backed UN Security Council resolution, which threatened sanctions against Syria amid clashes in the country.

Xinhua-China Daily-Reuters