Nation plays 'unique role' in Syria cease-fire

Updated: 2016-02-15 08:02

By Wang Xu(China Daily)

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Beijing's active participation in the process to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict has fulfilled its commitment as a responsible nation, experts said after a cease-fire deal was reached in Munich.

On Friday, the United States, Russia and China, among other nations, agreed on a cessation of hostilities "within a week" in Syria and delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged areas of the country.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Reuters on Friday that, although differences remained, all major parties came to realize that the crisis in Syria needed to end.

"We hope this hard-won consensus can really be implemented," Wang said, reiterating Beijing's support in letting the Syrian people decide the future of their country.

Li Shaoxian, a senior expert in Middle East studies at Ningxia University in northeastern China, said the deal had saved the stalled peace negotiations between the government of President Bashar Assad and the opposition, "a diplomatic goal long pursued by China".

Nation plays 'unique role' in Syria cease-fire

Wang made two trips to Europe over the Syrian issue, one to the United Kingdom and the other to Germany. In London, Wang said China had provided nine installments of humanitarian aid to Syria and would provide 10,000 metric tons of food to refugees.

Hosting both the Syrian foreign minister and opposition officials in January is also more proof of China's effort to support the peace process laid out by the United Nations Security Council, Li added.

China will not take part in the Syrian crisis by picking sides, but will play its role in fighting terrorism, Li said, citing Beijing's recent counter-terrorism cooperation, capacity building and intelligence sharing with Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Li Weijian, a Middle East studies researcher at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, said China is playing a unique role compared with countries that chose to support one side in the conflict. A neutral and impartial solution is needed, he added.

(China Daily 02/15/2016 page3)