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China Daily Website

China's vote against Syria resolution shows responsibility

Updated: 2012-02-19 09:09
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - China's "No" vote on a proposed Syria resolution at the UN General Assembly shows it can assume greater responsibility in international affairs, an expert says.

It (casting a "No" vote) conforms to China's foreign policy of maintaining world peace and stability and principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states, Moustapha Saphariny, director of the Arab Information Center, told Xinhua on Saturday.

The UN General Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution supporting political transition in Syria, which has been plagued by 11 months of violent protests against the government and calls for the appointment of a UN special envoy to the Middle East country.

China voted against the resolution, saying it opposes armed intervention or forcing a so-called "regime change" in Syria.

The resolution was similar to a draft vetoed in the UN Security Council on February 4 by Russia and China, two permanent members of the 15-nation body. The killed draft asked Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to hand over power to his deputy.

Saphariny said China shows no partiality to either side on the Syria issue and has been playing a positive, concrete and constructive role in solving the crisis.

China has asked the Syrian government to respond to its people's reasonable needs and begin a national dialogue and start a "tolerant" political process that includes an end to the violence, he said.

Saphariny said China's stance on Syria can be considered a great diplomatic accomplishment.

He said China has not only cast "No" votes on irrational resolutions, but has also proposed concrete plans including a roadmap to solve the Syria crisis.

More importantly, Saphariny said, China has put its advice into practice. Wu Sike, the Chinese special envoy to the Middle East, visited Syria recently and exchanged views with Syrian officials and opposition groups.

China also received a Syrian opposition delegation on February 6-9. Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun, a special envoy of the Chinese government, is now in the Syrian capital of Damascus to discuss the situation, Saphariny said.

He said casting a "No" vote is not supporting the Assad regime. Instead, China is adopting a responsible attitude given the complex impact of the Syria issue on the Middle East.

The vote will not negatively affect the relations between China and Arab countries. On the contrary, it may play a positive role on bilateral relationship, Saphariny said.

At present, some may say China's stance supports the Syrian regime, but time will prove that the position benefits both the Syrian government and people as well as the Middle East, he said.