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China on Monday reiterated its political position on the Syria issue, calling on related parties to stop the violence, and the international community to support the United Nations' mediation.
China is deeply concerned about the escalating crisis in Syria and believes a political resolution is the way to solve the crisis, State Councilor Dai Bingguo said in a written interview with the Moscow-based Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.
Dai is in Russia for the seventh round of strategic security talks between the two countries. On Monday, he also met Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss bilateral ties and major international and regional issues of common concern.
Beijing and Moscow have jointly voted down three UN Security Council resolutions that threaten Syria with sanctions. The Financial Times said the 18-month crisis in Syria has made the countries' relationship closer.
China has no selfish interests in the Syria issue, Dai said.
"We respect the Syrian people's choice and will not favor any side. What we oppose is interference in the internal affairs of a country and forcing a regime change," he said.
China would like to continue communicating with related parties and backing the UN's role to properly solve the conflicts in the Arab country, he said.
On Monday, UN military observers left Damascus after a four-month mission that saw only a spiraling conflict instead of a cease-fire between President Bashar al-Assad's forces and the opposition.
The new peace envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said on Monday it is no longer a question of "preventing civil war" in Syria, but rather ending it.
Brahimi, who was named on Friday to replace former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, acknowledged on Sunday that he faces a difficult job trying to broker a peace deal in Syria, and said his first task is overcoming divisions within the Security Council, according to The Associated Press.
Li Fenglin, a former Chinese ambassador to Russia, said the stance held by China and Russia on the Syrian issue upholds the principles of the United Nation Charter in the Security Council and peacefully minimize casualties from war.
All related parties want to break the current deadlock, but neither the Syrian authority nor the opposition can overwhelm the other side, said Li Guofu, director of Middle East studies with the China Institute of International Studies.
"I don't think the opposition parties could overthrow Assad due to the divisions among them and the West's limited support for them in fear of encouraging terrorism," he said.
In addition to the Syria issue, the effect of Beijing's and Moscow's diplomacy to the US strategic shift in the Asia-Pacific region was also underlined in the West.
China and Russia "appeared certain to deal with their mutual interests in Iran and their efforts to squeeze the United States out of Central Asia", The New York Times reported.
Pang Dapeng, an expert on Russian studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, agreed.
"What brings China and Russia so close is the common need to develop domestic economies through mutually beneficial cooperation, not these short-term international matters," Pang said
Li, the former ambassador, said China and Russia are seeking to establish a new model of strategic relations to meet challenges home and abroad.
The two neighbors, both at key stages of development, should adhere to and prioritize their bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, Dai told Rossiyskaya Gazeta. He urged both sides to focus on implementing the bilateral 10-year development plan and to safeguard each country's core interests, including sovereignty and security.
He also called for both sides to properly manage practical cooperation, as well as enhancing economic cooperation so they can reach $100 billion in bilateral trade by 2015, set during Putin's visit to China in early June.
Russia says China became its second-largest trading partner in the first half of 2012. In June, Russia's trade representative in China, Sergey Tsyplakov, predicted that trade between the two giants this year will total $90 billion.
With a number of cooperation agreements on the way, achieving the goal won't be a problem, Pang said.
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