Beijing calls for political solution to Syrian crisis
Updated: 2013-05-17 03:03
By Cheng Guangjin (China Daily)
UN vote seeks a leadership change in war-torn nation
China on Thursday once again stressed that a political solution is "the only realistic way" to resolve the Syrian issue after the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution calling for a political transition in Syria.
An image grab taken on Thursday from video uploaded on YouTube allegedly shows a member of the jihadist group Al-Nusra Front delivering a statement before shooting blindfolded supporters of the Syrian government at an undisclosed location in eastern Syria. YOUTUBE via Agence France-Presse
Analysts said the resolution may not help create favorable conditions for a political settlement of the Syrian crisis, but will lead to more disasters to the country and its people.
"China believes that the future destiny of Syria should be decided by the Syrian people themselves," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.
The pressing problem is to urge all sides to stop the violence and start a political transition based on the communique of the Geneva foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group of the Syrian issue, he said.
Any action taken by the international community, including the UN General Assembly, should be conducive to realizing those goals while observing the principles of the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations, said the spokesman.
China and 11 other countries, including Russia, voted to oppose the draft resolution that the UN General Assembly approved on Wednesday with 59 abstentions.
The US co-sponsored and Arab-backed resolution is not legally binding but can carry moral weight. It welcomes the establishment of the Syrian National Coalition, the main opposition group, "as effective interlocutors needed for a political transition" and strongly condemns Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for escalating use of heavy weapons and "gross violations" of human rights.
Li Baodong, China's permanent representative to the UN, reiterated that "a political settlement is the sole viable way of defusing the crisis in Syria" and military means cannot address the crisis, but would only lead to more conflict and bloodshed.
"Forcibly pushing forward the vote is not conducive to unity of the member states and the mediation efforts made by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the international community to solve the crisis in Syria," Li said.
Dong Manyuan, a researcher at the China Institute of International Studies, said the essence of the resolution reflects the intervention of the US and some Western countries, which will only worsen the humanitarian crisis and situation in Syria and increase the danger of the crisis spilling over into neighboring states.
"The only correct way is that the international community pushes for a political solution that is led by the Syrian people and is accepted by all relevant parties. And its precondition is to respect Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Dong said.
The resolution also contradicts the consensus reached between the US and Russia last week, which agreed on a political solution with respect to the Geneva communique to the Syrian crisis, ruling out military intervention and a forced regime change, Dong said.
Noting that fewer countries in the UN voted "yes" for the resolution this time compared with the previous two UN resolutions on Syria, Dong said it shows that more countries are objecting to the intervention by the US and Western countries in pushing for regime changes.
Xinhua and AP contributed to this story.