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Threatening to use sanctions not proper solution of Syrian crisis

By Lian Jun (The Economic Daily)

13:44, February 24, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

After the UN General Assembly adopted the draft resolution on Syria, Qu Xing, director of the China Institute of International Studies, interpreted China's attitude on how to handle the Syrian situation and China's relations with the Arab League in an interview with the Economic Daily.

Reporter: China voted against a draft resolution on Syria in the UN Security Council on Feb.4 and a resolution in the UN General Assembly on Feb. 17. How to interpret China's stance?

Qu Xing: The Chinese government's actions reflect the consistence of its policy. China believes that the international community should fully respect Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity, as well as the independent choice of the Syrian people. It respects achievements reached by the parties to the political dialogue in Syria, and is not in favor of the implementation of a military intervention against Syria or the forced "regime change". It does not believe sanction will help solve the crisis.

Actions of the international community and United Nations regarding Syria should help reduce tensions, promote political dialogue and resolve differences, as well as contribute to the maintenance of peace and stability in the Middle East and the unity of the international community, rather than complicate the issue. Certain elements in the Feb. 4 UNSC resolution pushed by certain Western countries violate these basic principles; therefore, China and Russia exercised their veto rights.

China voted against it in order to avoid the relevant content of the resolution being abused and used as an excuse to wage a war. China has always been committed to upholding regional and world peace and stability, which is a matter of basic principle.

Reporter: Some Western countries stubbornly refused to amend and forced a vote on the resolution, what is their purpose?

Qu Xing: Despite the serious differences among different parties during the Feb. 4 UNSC discussion on the Syrian draft resolution, Western countries still forced a vote on the resolution, leaving no time and space for the diplomatic efforts that were being taken some countries.

During the discussion in the UN General Assembly this time, the Western countries took the similarly confrontational and uncooperative approach, claiming from the outset to have no intention to convene discussions and refusing to amend the text of the resolution. This is in violation of the long-standing UN working methods and practices and only serves to aggravate the confrontation in the end.

As for the motives of some Western countries, on the one hand they are competing with China and Russia; on the other hand they do not want the current regime to have any form of existence in the future political structure of Syria.

Although the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on Syria, it is not legally binding and lacks an enforcement mechanism. Nevertheless, this result will lead to further deterioration of the Syrian situation and is not conducive to the start of the political process in Syria.

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