The USG Open Source Center translates from the Chinese an article that includes an explanation of China’s veto of a new UN Security Council resolution on Syria. Special envoy on Middle Eastern affairs Wu Sike explains that China feared the resolution would push Syria into a full-fledged civil war. He said he also wanted to avoid another Iraq or Libya fiasco. This is the first time I’ve seen either Russia ore China give the Bush administration’s invasion and occupation of Iraq as a reason for their opposition to further Western intervention in the Middle East. The chickens are coming home to roost. Bush and Cheney thought that they were nailing down another American century, but they may have been hastening the demise of that whole notion.
‘Exclusive’ Interview With PRC Special Envoy: Veto ‘To Safeguard’ Syrian Interests…
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Document Type: OSC Translated Text
Beijing, 7 Feb (Xinhua) — “Proceeding from Syria’s actual conditions, China vetoed the UN Security Council draft resolution on the Syrian issue, to safeguard the fundamental interests of Syria and its people,” Wu Sike, Chinese special envoy on the Middle East issue, said during an interview with Xinhua reporters.
On 4 February, China and Russia voted against the UN Security Council draft resolution on the Syrian issue submitted by Morocco and drafted by Western countries and some relevant Arab states. This was the second time that China and Russia voted against a draft resolution on the Syrian issue subsequent to their veto of the draft resolution on the Syrian issue submitted to the UN Security Council by France, Britain, and other European countries on 4 October last year.
Wu Sike said: Respecting a country’s sovereignty is the basic principle of the UN Charter. China has always observed and stressed this principle in dealing with international affairs. The Syrian issue is, in essence, an internal affair of that country. Syria’s development and reforms should be decided by the Syrian people. External forces should not exceed their functions to interfere. Otherwise, this will be violating Syria’s sovereignty and disrespecting the Syrian people.
He noted that finding solutions to the Syrian issue must proceed from Syria’s actual conditions. He visited Syria after the UN Security Council voted on the Syrian issue on 4 0ctober last year. During his visit, he conducted in-depth conversations with leaders of the two opposition organizations. They said that they understood China’s veto and explained that if external interference was allowed, be it the Iraq type of land attacks or the Libya form of air strikes, the ultimate victims will be Syria and its people. Resolving the Syrian crisis through its own efforts may be a little slow and take longer, but it involves much smaller risks and aftermaths. In the long run, this conforms with the interests of Syria and its people.
Wu Sike stressed: As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China is a responsible country. China supports an “early initiation of an inclusive political process led by the Syrian people and participated by various parties, peacefully resolving conflicts through dialogues and consultations to restore Syria’s situation to normal as early as possible.” He added: “Some Western media reports assert that China and Russia are supporting ‘dictatorship.’ This is misleading and confusing the essence of the issue. On the contrary, China is safeguarding the entire interests of the Syrian people, instead of protecting one side and opposing the other.” Time and history will make a fair judgment, he said.
Wu Sike said that he held a meeting with Arab League Secretary General Araby in Cairo in the second half of December last year, during which he stressed that China supported the idea of resolving the Syrian issue under the Arab League framework. Syria and its people as well as the Arab League should be the main factors in resolving the Syrian issue, whereas the international community should do something positive and useful to push the work forward and play a constructive role, instead of imposing measures on a country.
When commenting on China’s veto of the current draft resolution that includes the Arab League’s new proposal, Wu Sike pointed out: China supports the Arab League’s efforts within its framework to promote dialogues between the relevant parties. But the UN Charter and UN regulations must be respected when doing something under the UN framework. It would be unreasonable for the United Nations to accept any proposal just because it is put forth by the Arab League.
Wu Sike noted that the Syrian crisis involves the stability of the entire region. He called on the relevant parties to sensibly consider problems and respect the civilians’ demands for reforms, development, and progress. He added: In the next step, China will continue to maintain contact s and communication with the Syrian authorities, the opposition factions, Arab states, the Arab League, and various relevant parties, promote dialogues between various Syrian factions to prevent the use of violence, reduce casualties among the innocent civilians, peacefully resolve the crisis, and bring about security and stability in Syria and this region. This is not only conducive to creating welfare for the Syrian and Middle East people, but also greatly beneficial to world peace and development.
(Description of Source: Beijing Xinhua Asia-Pacific Service in Chinese — China’s official news service (New China News Agency) to the Asia-Pacific region, established to replace Xinhua Hong Kong Service. The new service includes material previously carried by Xinhua Hong Kong Service and additional material specific to the Asia-Pacific region)