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Op-ed: China, a constructive mediator in Syrian crisis

By Jia Xiudong (People's Daily Online)    17:29, December 28, 2015
Op-ed: China, a constructive mediator in Syrian crisis
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) holds talks with Syrian deputy prime minister and foreign minister Walid al-Moallem in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 24, 2015 (Xinhua/Ding Haitao)

China’s recent invitations for a Syrian government representative and opposition party representative for talks show not only China’s willingness to promote peace talks and a resolution of the crisis, but also China’s commitment to its responsibilities as a major power.

China seizes the opportunity for crisis resolution

The Syrian crisis is now at a critical stage. During the past five years, the Syrian government and the opposition party have been locked in a war of attrition, and neither side has been able to gain the upper hand.

As a result of this deadlock, there has been a growing willingness to resume peace talks between the two sides.

Russian intervention in the Syrian crisis has objectively helped the Bashar al-Assad regime to consolidate its power. If the West still insists on Bashar’s stepping down as a prerequisite to crisis resolution, the anti-terrorism campaign will be hampered.

In this context, China, together with other U.N. Security Council members, voted for Resolution 2254, injecting new impetus into a political solution for the crisis.

At present, China hopes to build on the basic consensus reached by the international community that the Syrian crisis should be solved politically, and continue efforts to promote dialogue between the Syrian government and opposition party.

China mediates Syrian crisis

In talks with Syria and the U.N. Security Council, China offered proposals regarding peace talks, ceasefire, humanitarian aid, the fight against terrorism and economic reconstruction.

China’s specific proposals include authorization of the Security Council’s ceasefire monitoring plan, and a peacekeeping operation when conditions permit. These proposals are pertinent and highly operable.

China exerts influence on Syrian crisis

China sees “Three Principles of Persistence” as key to the peaceful solution of the crisis; namely: insisting on a political solution, insisting that the future of Syria should be decided by its people, and insisting on the U.N. as the key mediator.

All groups that favor a political solution and the removal of extreme terrorist activities should be given a place at the peace talk table. In this way, further antagonism can be avoided and all parties will feel welcome to sit down and talk.

A problem as complicated as the Syrian crisis cannot be solved by any single party or country alone; instead, it requires the joint efforts of the international community. China is willing to play a constructive role in pushing for a political solution for the Syrian crisis.

(Jia Xiudong is a research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, and a special commentator for People’s Daily Overseas Edition) 

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