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'Third path' for Syria to end deadlock

(Global Times)

09:54, February 12, 2012

A delegation from the Syrian opposition concluded a four-day visit to Beijing earlier this week. As Western countries, one after another, opt to sever contact with al-Assad's government, China's capacity to maintain communication with both Damascus as well as the opposition becomes vital. It may propel Beijing into a special position in the Syria issue.

China has always been committed to a peaceful solution to end the deadlocked Syrian conflict. The realization of Beijing's proposal, a "third path" for Syria, requires capability and neutrality.

Chinese officials neither advocate a regime change through military intervention, nor would offer an umbrella for inaction by Syrian authorities. The "third path" should be a compromised and tangible reform roadmap created by all sides within Syria.

A handshake between the two sides in Syria will not come easy. Coalition governments around the world have poor records. That is especially true in this circumstance as the West has already made up its mind to get rid of Bashar-al-Assad. It is logical for the Syrian opposition to expect Western assistance. Even repeating the dramatic scenario of their Libyan counterparts may be what the Syrian opposition yearns for.

For those obsessed with such wishful thinking, it will not be the case. Unlike the beleaguered Gaddafi, al-Assad is backed by the Russians. If a war between Western and Russian "agents" occurs in Syria, as is speculated to happen by some in the European media, it would be an arduous and prolonged battle.

History shows regime changes in restive regions mean endless turmoil and uncertainty. Therefore the Syrian opposition does not need to be that ambitious. Threats against al-Assad will persist as they always have. Compromises on critical issues in exchange for a "soft landing" of his country seem to be a good deal for him.

Voices backing a political resolution have been loud in China, but Beijing may have to settle at least a handful of thorny issues so as to make it a doctrine that a greater number of people would seriously consult as a choice.

China is obviously seeking to assume an active role. The busiest mediators on the world stage are not necessarily stronger than China.

Russia can be an ally in advocating a "third path." China's ties with most of the Arab League members were not hurt by its veto decision. Western governments resolve could waver given embarrassing economic performances and domestic pressures, despite their determination on Syria.

China will not lose much as Beijing looks to score diplomatically on the Syria issue. An advocate of peace should not be ashamed even if the audience is small.


Leave your comment11 comments

  1. Name

Mary Clapper at 2012-02-17205.172.21.*
US should stop interfare internal affairs of Syria immediately.
PD User at 2012-02-15220.164.118.*
I agree with Tony Latham that, not only Russia and China but also the UN, Arab League, US, Europe (effectively the World) should tell President Assad to STOP all attacks NOW - although isolated violence may still occur as control of the rebels seem fractured and disorganized. Peace-keeping troops can then enter the country for peaceful negotiations to start."The end game should be fair elections to hold the country together, and if that leaves Assad still in government but not with the power to kill his own people, then that is a price worth paying."
PD User at 2012-02-14218.102.190.*
If the US and its allies are really talking about humanitarianism, they should use conflict resolution rather than sanctions and sending troops. Sanctions would never affect those in power. They would only cause more hardship and harmful to civilians. Sending troops would also lead to civilian casualties and soldiers. Conflict resolution of the 21st Century are all about resolving basic and underlying issues with the goal towards peaceful resolution of conflicts rather than just managing or suppressing, eliminating or conflicting conflict or avoiding conflict. Offering weapons for people to killing each other is the worst method which the US has been using everywhere. I would sugges the US foreign policy advicor to go to their Congress Library and read the book "Conflict Resolution of the 21st Century: principles, methods, and approaches" by Jacob Bercovitch and Richard Jackson. We are in the 21st Century. The Cold War has ended. Cannot understand why the American presidents of the 21st Century are still using outdated advicors for new issues. This might probably explain the fall of a great nation! What a pity!
PD User at 2012-02-14120.165.35.*
The West always gives financial aid to other countries used to fund regime change not from their own pockets,but by continuing to borrow money from China.
Tony Latham at 2012-02-1486.136.172.*
When will we all learn not to go along with the spin of the Assad government, or western governments for that matter, and listen to the people in places like Homs, who are communicating using available technology shown on TV - at least in the west. The claim of the Libyan government that they are fighting armed gangs, terrorists, and western mercenaries is just not supported by the facts, but done to justify Assad sending in his heavily-armed army to kill his own people. This tactic is always used in situations like this. Take Rwanda for instance, the Hutu government called the Tusis "cockroaches", as a justification for killing 800,000 of its own people, the former Egypt government claimed the opposition were western-backed armed gangs, and the former Libyan government did the same. Why then are people willing to believe what Assad is saying? If China and Russia are not prepared to support the Arab League, or the West, then let them send in their own mission and stop Assad in his tracks from attacking places such as Homs. The people of Homs are not an army attacking the government, albeit that some former soldiers have changed sides, be trying to defend themselves. If Assad"s army moved back and the Chinese.Russian acted as a buffer, then things might calm down enough for bilateral talks. The end game should be fair elections to hold the country together, and if that leaves Assad still in government but not with the power to kill his own people, then that is a price worth paying.

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