China calls for restraint in Syria, non-interference in its internal affairs 2011-10-05 08:37:30 FeedbackPrintRSS

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) — China on Tuesday called for restraint in Syria and the international community’s compliance with the UN Charter and the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of the Middle East country.

The statement came as Li Baodong, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, was taking the floor after China and Russia vetoed a draft resolution to condemn the Syrian authorities. The draft resolution, presented by France, Germany, Portugal and Britain, was killed because China and Russia, the two veto-wielding permanent members of the 15-nation Security Council, have voted against it.

“China is highly concerned with the development of the situation in Syria,” Li said. “We call upon all parties concerned in Syria to exercise restraint to avoid all forms of violence and more bloody conflicts.”

“It is our hope that the Syrian government will implement its relevant reform commitments, and it is also our hope to see an early start of the Syrian-led inclusive political process in order to ease the situation as soon as possible,” he said.

“The international community should provide constructive assistance to facilitate the achievement of those above-mentioned objectives,” Li said. “In the meantime, it should fully respect Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity,”

“Whether the Security Council will take further action on the question of Syria should depend on whether it facilitates the easing of tension in Syria, whether it helps the defusing of differences through political dialogue, whether it contributes to maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East,” Li said.

“Most importantly, it should depend on whether it complies with the UN Charter and the principle of non-interference in internal affairs, because these principles have a bearing upon the security and survival of the developing countries, in particular those medium-sized and small countries, and those principles have a bearing on the peace and stability in the world,” he said. “The Chinese government’s position on these questions has been consistent.”

China has all along taken part in the consultations of the draft resolutions on Syria at the Security Council “in an active and constructive manner,” he said.

“Right now, the Security Council has two draft resolutions, one advocates respecting the sovereignty of Syria and resolving the political crisis through political dialogue. China supports this draft,” Li said, referring to the draft resolution put forward by Russia.

“However, as for the draft resolution reviewed now, China, just like many other members of the Security Council, holds that sanctions or threat of sanctions does not help resolve the Syrian question under the current situation in the country,” he said. “On the contrary, it will possibly further complicate the situation.”

“But to our regret and disappointment, our reasonable concerns did not get the due attention and response from the countries that presented the (killed) draft resolution,” Li said.

“The present draft resolution just means to impose pressure on Syria and even threaten to use sanctions against it, this is not conducive to easing the tension in Syria,” he said. “Therefore, China voted against the draft resolution.”

The draft resolution, put to vote at the Security Council, received nine votes in favor, two against, and four abstention. South Africa, India, Brazil and Lebanon, the four non-permanent members of the Security Council, abstained.

“Syria is an important country in the Middle East, and the maintenance of peace and stability in Syria serves the common interest of the Syrian people and the international community,” Li said. “China, together with the international community, will continue to play an active and constructive role in properly resolving the question of Syria and we will continue to support the mediating efforts of the relevant countries and organizations in the region.”

Syria has been wracked by six months of unrest which it blames on foreign conspiracy and armed thugs. A recent UN statement put the number of civilians killed during the past six months in Syria at 2,700, while Syria blames on foreign-backed armed gangs who it says have killed 700 security forces personnel.

“Today’s refused draft was based on a very different philosophy, the philosophy of confrontation,” Vitaly Churkin, the Russian permanent representative to the United Nations, told the Security Council after the vote, saying that the approach by the countries drafting the resolution was “against the peaceful settlement of the crisis” in the Middle East country.Editor: Wang Guanqun

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