China no 'rubber stamp' on Syria - paper

2012-02-07 12:45

Beijing - The world must get used to a rising China speaking hard truths about international disputes such as Syria, a top newspaper said on Tuesday, saying its veto of a UN resolution on the Syrian crisis showed China would be no "rubber stamp".

China said its blocking, along with Russia, of a draft UN resolution that backed an Arab plan urging President Bashar Assad to quit, did not amount to supporting the Syrian leader.

Activists accused Assad's forces of bombarding part of the city of Homs before the U.N. vote on the weekend, killing 200 people in the worst bloodshed of the 11-month uprising. The opposition said 50 people were killed in Homs on Monday.

The head of the Arab League, Nabil Elaraby, said Russia and China had lost diplomatic credit in the Arab world by vetoing the resolution.

But the overseas edition of the People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, said in a front-page commentary China was right to stand up for what it believed was the correct course over Syria.

"The Syrian situation is worsening, and China and Russia's decision to veto created a 'window of opportunity' for a soft landing to the problem, which should not be wasted," wrote Ruan Zongze, who the paper identified as a foreign affairs expert.

China's new role

Ruan said China should tough out the international outcry over the veto.

"Today, China, because of its rapidly rising strength, sits at the main table on the global stage, and needs to get used to newly being in the limelight. The international community also needs to adjust to China's new role," Ruan said.

"Although this means that China will face even more difficult choices when it comes to handling complex international affairs, China must dare to speak its mind, and proactively create a just, rational global political process."

On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin told reporters that Western powers that initiated the UN Security Council vote on their resolution were culpable for not going far enough in seeking compromise.

"China is not playing favourites and nor is it deliberately opposing anyone, but rather is upholding an objective and fair stance and a responsible position," Liu said.

"Our goal is for the Syrian people to escape violence, conflict and flames of war, and not to make the problem even more complicated," he said.

Political reconciliation

In the People's Daily, Ruan said the resolution had been aimed at "regime change", which ran contrary to the UN's charter, hence China could not support it.

China was leading the charge to prevent the Security Council from becoming "just a rubber stamp", Ruan said.

"The international community ought to create conditions for national political reconciliation in Syria and push for dialogue and the narrowing of differences," he wrote.

China's explanations are unlikely to mollify critics in Western capitals and the Middle East.

Dozens of Syrian and Libyan demonstrators on Monday threw rocks, eggs and tomatoes at the Chinese embassy in Tripoli, where they also broke windows and sprayed graffiti on walls in a show of disgust.

The conflicting Chinese and Western positions have exposed a wider rift about how China should use its growing influence and whether it should foresake its long-standing, albeit unevenly applied, principle of non-interference in other countries' domestic conflicts.

China's siding with Russia over Syria could also add to irritants with the United States. Vice President Xi Jinping is due to visit there next week, burnishing his credentials as the Communist Party's likely next top leader.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-02-07 13:44

    Nothing new here, we all already know that the US's true intentions are to do with oil and not Syria.

      str4f3 - 2012-02-07 14:53

      Catch is, Syria doesnt have much oil and its reserves are fast running out, they are liklely to import more oil than export in the next 10 years. The US does like to meddle tho, but its got less to do with oil than other things.

      Erick Bukula - 2012-02-07 14:59

      Oil or not @ least they are tring to stop a bloodshed

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-02-07 15:21

      China are the ones benefiting from oil , they getting it for discounted price below market as the rest of the world has sanctions inposed.

      Marick - 2012-02-07 15:22

      If it is about oil, and as str4fe says Syria will be importing more than it exports in the next 10 years, then another way the US can secure its oil supply is by reducing demand - war in a country disrupts commerce, which should lead to a lower demand for oil in that country. Whether the US is in it for the Syrian oil, or in it to reduce oil consumption so there's less demand, they end up with greater oil supply security. Personally, I think this is less about oil and more about economics. With oil supplies on the decline, the oil price needs to rise to ridiculous levels no longer economically sustainable so that energy companies (read: oil companies) can make the switch to "cleaner" engery and profit from all the patents they already have locked away. The best way to achieving that price increase is to disrupt supply.

      Shaun O'Meara - 2012-02-07 16:02

      do you really believe that the agenda of China or Russia is different to that of the USA, please people wake up, they simply betting on the other horse to win! they all just politicians with a different agenda!

      Fred - 2012-02-07 18:18

      Shows how much you know and how obsessed you are. It's exactly the other way around. The so called West is sacrificing their oil supply for higher principles. China and Russia on the other hand, both of whom have strong ties with the brutal Assad regime and big investments in Syria, are not.

      Fred - 2012-02-07 18:21

      Shaun, the US and Western world are VERY different in their principles than neo-Soviet Russia and neo-Maoist China. To simplify things the way you have done is to strip away insight and truth.

  • Jaba - 2012-02-07 15:45

    Dear China like it or not, you have blood on your hands. When Syria is free... they will remember your veto AKA murder.

      Fred - 2012-02-07 18:34

      They have effectively given the brutal technocrat Assad a license to kill. The New Syria won't forget this too soon. Russia and China, who are new to the international arena and immature, are not only showing themselves to be inhuman but also very much out of their depths.

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-07 16:38

    "albeit unevenly applied, principle of non-interference in other countries' domestic conflicts." Yes we saw that policy in action 1st hand with the Da Lai Lama debacle! With the ANC govt so readily giving them a BJ to go with it!

  • Sean - 2012-02-07 18:07

    haha the muslim world once again is getting played by the Americans again. And the funny thing is, the Islamic/Muslim peoples are willing pawns to American plans for MidEast domination. Syria has no oil, but its an invaluable strategic piece able to keep in check a resurgent islamic Turkey to the north, while freeing up military resources from Israel's northern border to threaten Iran, and other muslim countries esp the new democratic government in Egypt should they decide not to toe the American defined lines. Well done! USA! USA! USA!!!! Maybe the UN security council should have first applied sanctions on the US government for the unlawful and violent crackdown on Occupy Wall Street Protestors in the first place, or maybe to apply sanctions on the US for constantly waging war on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and threatening other countries with varying degrees of military intervention. Its funny also how a country that professes to love peace declares war habitually almost every 2 years. I had great aspirations for the ideals behind the USA before. Now, i know better. The Arab and Islamic peoples should know better, and know that they must themselves unite and stand-up together for a better future, with a government independent of foreign/American intervention to work for the improvement of people's lives. This is my greatest wish. It will be a pity to see the Islamic world continue to be dominated and manipulated like a puppet by the Western powers AGAIN.

      Fred - 2012-02-07 18:29

      Nutcase. This is total nonsense.

      mundu.olewega - 2012-02-07 21:09

      Sean you are an idiot. The USA is the largest financial backer of the UN. Without the USA there is no UN. So how would they sanction them? America just doesn't have a dog in this fight. China has blood on their hands. Boycott Chinese made goods...that will get their attention.

      Fidel - 2012-02-08 01:58

      Well said Sean.

      Fred - 2012-02-08 02:19

      Patrick and Sean you're living in la-la-land

      Fred - 2012-02-08 02:36

      A bitter, twisted la-la-land

      Fred - 2012-02-08 06:30

      Add Field to that

  • Fred - 2012-02-07 18:31

    For the Chinese regime to hold this image of itself as rubber-stamps just shows how weak and alienated they feel themselves to be.

      Fidel - 2012-02-08 01:59

      Incoherent hogwash, read the article again.

      Fred - 2012-02-08 06:29

      Your comment is reactionary. My comment is completely consistent with the article. The newspaper, the Chinese regime's mouthpiece, stated that the veto shows that China would be no "rubber stamp" and the world should get used to China being on the international stage. This actually means China is not used to be on the international stage, hence its completely reprehensible license to kill given to Assad and his violent cronies.

  • Fred - 2012-02-08 02:08

    In order to prove it is not "a rubber stamp" the Chinese regime has given Assad a license to kill civilians. This is emotionally detached, sociopathic behavior. You can do better than this China.

  • Fred - 2012-02-08 21:00

    Imagine the Chinese technocrats faces when a few hundred million Chinese people take to the streets demanding human rights and change. It's coming. Fidel, Patrick and Napolita will likely misunderstand it and blame Israel. :)

      Fidel - 2012-02-08 21:11

      China's position on civil unrest is clear - it is the obligation of the government to better the lives of the people. If they cannot deliver, then the people will complain. BUT there is another side to the social contract. IF the government and powers that be IS delivering, ala Beijing, then undue disruption is counter to the interest of the people at large (over a billion), and SHOULD be quelled so that the entire society can achieve all that they can. Irresponsibility is not freedom. (Selfishness is not part of Chinese culture)

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