News / Asia

China Defends its Veto of UN Resolution on Syria

Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Li Baodong addresses the Security Council in New York after a vote on a U.N. resolution backing an Arab League peace plan on the Syrian crisis, February 4, 2012.
Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Li Baodong addresses the Security Council in New York after a vote on a U.N. resolution backing an Arab League peace plan on the Syrian crisis, February 4, 2012.

China strongly defended its veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution on Syria again Monday, saying its decision was ultimately aimed at avoiding more casualties.

Monday's Foreign Ministry briefing was dominated by China's decision, along with Russia's, to block the resolution condemning Syria's crackdown on anti-government protesters and calling for President Bashar al-Assad to resign.

VOA’s Ira Mellman spoke about the Chinese veto with Clayton Dube, Executive Director of the US-China Institute at the University of Southern California.

Dube said the move by Beijing follows “a well-established pattern of resisting calls for regime change.”

Spokesman Liu Weimin said China has been actively involved in U.N. efforts to address the Syrian crisis, but sees the latest resolution as divisive and ineffective.

China vetoed the resolution, said Liu, because it feels that supporters pushed through the vote while different sides were still "seriously divided." Thirteen of the 15 council members voted in favor of the measure.

This kind of practice, Liu added, does not help maintain unity within the U.N. Security Council nor does it solve the Syrian issue. Liu went on to say China is paying close attention to the situation in Syria and is calling on all sides there to stop violence. Beijing's ultimate goal, he said, is to avoid casualties of innocent civilians and restore normal order in Syria.

The spokesman did not directly respond to questions for comment about the rising death toll in Syria, where the opposition accuses government troops of regular attacks in the Syrian city, Homs.

He also rejected Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's description of the Chinese and Russian vetoes as “a travesty.”

Liu said China does not accept the accusation, adding that China is not trying to favor any side in Syria's civil conflict.  China sees itself as “a responsible major country,” and will continue to work with the international community for a positive outcome, Lui said.

Sun Zhe, international studies professor at Tsinghua University, believes there is still still room to negotiate stronger international action on Syria. If the situation deteriorates even further, China and Russia could still change their positions, said Sun, arguing that Western countries that are calling for sanctions should continue their discussions.

China is following Russia's lead on the Syria issue, but Sun acknowledged that Beijing also has its own concerns. Chinese leaders see the Syrian government's actions as “extremist,” he said, but are afraid of Western intervention because, they do not want to see another Libya or another Egypt.

Russia's foreign minister is due in Syria on Tuesday. The Chinese spokesman said he had no information as to whether Chinese officials would be heading to Damascus anytime in the immediate future.

You May Like

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs