News / Asia

China Backs Russian Proposal on Syrian Chemical Weapons

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei speaks during a press briefing in Beijing, China. (file photo)
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei speaks during a press briefing in Beijing, China. (file photo)
Shannon Van Sant
— China says it supports a Russian plan to avoid U.S. military strikes against Syria by having Damascus hand over its chemical weapons stockpile for destruction. The comments come after a top U.S. defense official pressed Chinese officials to back military action against Syria.

Russia’s proposal to place the Syrian government’s chemical weapons under international control for eventual destruction has won cautious praise from U.S. President Barack Obama, who said it offers hope for avoiding military action.

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei also backed the plan.

He said that the international community should consider the proposal as long it was conducive to easing the current situation in Syria and safeguarding peace and stability in the whole region.

China has consistently joined Russia in vetoing United Nations resolutions imposing sanctions or criticizing the Syrian government.  Beijing insisted that political dialogue was the only solution to the conflict.  On Monday, China’s Foreign Minister urged the U.S. to proceed with extreme caution and to return to the U.N. to discuss Syria before launching air strikes.

Chinese authorities are expected to meet with six members of the Syrian opposition Tuesday to discuss the conflict in Syria. However authorities did not identify the group.

China’s state-backed media have warned against a military campaign targeting the Syrian government and said that a U.S. strike would hurt America’s international image. The People’s Daily said military strikes could evolve quickly into a regional war which would threaten the global energy supply and economy.

U.S. Under Secretary for Defense Policy, James Miller, arrived in Beijing this week on a trip originally aimed at bolstering defense ties, but which also included discussions on Syria.

He told reporters Tuesday that he spoke with Chinese authorities about backing military action against Syrian government targets in retaliation for the chemical weapons attack allegedly carried out by Syrian troops.

Miller said that China had an interest in preventing the use of chemical weapons especially to set an example for its neighbor North Korea.

“I emphasized the massive chemical weapons arsenal that North Korea has and that we didn't want to live in a world in which North Korea felt the threshold for using chemical weapons had been lowered,” he said.

When asked about Miller’s comments on North Korea, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei affirmed that China opposed the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. 

However he said that China was also opposed to the use of force in military relations and military strikes would add to regional unrest in the Middle East.

You May Like

As AIDS Epidemic Matures, Workplaces Adapt

Issue of AIDS in workplace is one of many social issues being discussed at the 20th International Aids Conference in Australia More

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid