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China: Dialogue best for Syrian crisis

Updated: 2012-03-05 08:21
By Wang Chenyan ( China Daily)

China ready to build corridor for delivery of humanitarian aid

BEIJING - China said on Sunday that "human rights" shouldn't be used as an excuse to interfere in Syria's internal affairs, as it appealed in a written statement for an end to violence and for negotiations between all relevant parties.

"China is following closely developments in the situation in Syria (and it) firmly maintains that the current crisis should be resolved through political dialogue in a peaceful and appropriate manner, and has made unremitting efforts to this end," an unidentified senior Foreign Ministry official said in a written statement posted on the ministry's website.

China: Dialogue best for Syrian crisis

A man sits next to the bodies of three Free Syrian Army fighters, allegedly killed by the Syrian Army, during their funeral in Idlib, north Syria, on Saturday. China called for an immediate, full and unconditional cease-fire by "the Syrian government and all parties concerned". [Photo/Agencies]

Characterizing the situation in Syria as "deeply worrying", the official called for an immediate, full and unconditional cease-fire by "the Syrian government and all parties concerned" but rejected any outside intervention.

"China is a responsible country and a friend of the Arab people, including the Syrian people. China adheres to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms governing international relations," the official added.

With UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urging the Syrian government to allow immediate access by humanitarian workers, the six-point statement makes it clear that Beijing supports UN leadership of humanitarian relief efforts.

"China supports the UN's leading role in coordinating humanitarian relief efforts. China maintains that under the precondition of respecting Syria's sovereignty, the UN or an impartial body acceptable to all parties, should make an objective and comprehensive assessment of the humanitarian situation in Syria and ensure the delivery and distribution of humanitarian aid.

"China is ready to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people," the statement said as it laid out China's stance on building a humanitarian corridor, while rejecting any intervention on the pretext of "human rights".

The six-point proposal reiterated that Beijing does not approve of armed interference to replace the Syrian regime and "believes that the use or threat of sanctions does not help to resolve the issue".

The official said in the statement: "Relevant parties of the international community should earnestly respect the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Syria and the right of the Syrian people to independently choose their political system and development path, create conditions and provide necessary and constructive assistance for the various political factions of Syria to launch dialogue, and respect the outcome of dialogue."

The statement also said that Beijing expects Kofi Annan, the Joint Special Envoy on the Syrian Crisis of the UN and the Arab League, to play a constructive role in bringing about a political resolution of the crisis.

It expressed China's support for the active efforts of Arab states and the Arab League to promote a political solution to the crisis.

"Members of the Security Council should strictly abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms governing international relations.

"As a permanent member of the Security Council, China is ready to earnestly fulfill its responsibilities and engage in equal-footed, patient and full consultation with other parties on the political solution to the Syrian crisis in an effort to safeguard the unity of the Security Council," declared the statement's sixth point.

China and Russia twice vetoed UN Security Council resolutions in the past six months that would have strongly condemned Syria and authorized sanctions or even foreign military intervention. The US and other Western countries have criticized China for blocking the resolution.

Li Huaxin, the former Chinese Ambassador to Syria, said Beijing's diplomatic efforts had brought about a greater understanding of China's position around the world. Li said that the latest proposals in the Foreign Ministry official's statement constitute a comprehensive and timely plan to solve the urgent problems of the Syrian crisis.

"Beijing has once again laid down its position on the Syrian issue, proving China is an active, responsible and constructive player in the international arena, " Li said.

Qu Xing, head of the China Institute of International Studies, said he thought Syria is "at a crossroads" and where it will head depends on how all relevant parties pursue a solution for the crisis.

Qu told China Daily that the statement, which represents Beijing's repeated call for a peaceful solution of the Syrian issue, contains three new points and brings together the consensus of the international community.

"The support for humanitarian aid and the UN Special Envoy, as well as the emphasis on the Security Council's unity, reflect China's renewed efforts to increase the possibility of a political resolution.

"If the voice of peace occupies the mainstream, the hope of a political solution will grow," Qu added.

Xinhua contributed to this story.