News / Middle East

    China Rejects Syria Sanctions

    China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin gestures to a journalist during a news conference in Beijing (file photo). China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin gestures to a journalist during a news conference in Beijing (file photo).
    x
    China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin gestures to a journalist during a news conference in Beijing (file photo).
    China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin gestures to a journalist during a news conference in Beijing (file photo).
    China says it does not approve of using sanctions to address the crisis in Syria, a day after France's foreign minister discussed possible measures to enforce a faltering cease-fire plan.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said Thursday his country objected to using pressure, and instead backed the efforts of international envoy Kofi Annan.

    "Under the current circumstances, all the parties should continue to vigorously support U.N. envoy Kofi Annan's mediation efforts," Liu said.  "We urge relevant parties in Syria to effectively implement relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and Annan's six-point proposals, actively cooperate with the U.N. monitors, end any form of violence, protect civilians, and ease the current tense situation as soon as possible.''

    Russia

    Russia has also been opposed to Western and Arab efforts to impose U.N. sanctions on Syria's government.  Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov defended his country's arms sales to Syria, Wednesday, saying they do not violate international law.

    Syria's ambassador to Russia also rejected criticism of the sales during a visit Thursday to Moscow.  Riyad Haddad said the arms are defensive weapons, and further blamed Western countries for any failures of the Annan plan.

    US

    In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday it was time for the international community, including Russia, to come to table and "be constructive" in finding a way forward in Syria despite deviating views.

    Violence in Syria continued Thursday, with reported clashes in Homs and Rastan.  The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least four civilians were killed.

    U.N. observers visited the site of a car bombing Thursday near the capital, Damascus, which state media said wounded 14 people.

    Rights violations

    Reported Deaths Across Syria - updated June 14, 2012Reported Deaths Across Syria - updated June 14, 2012
    x
    Reported Deaths Across Syria - updated June 14, 2012
    Reported Deaths Across Syria - updated June 14, 2012
    Meanwhile, Amnesty International issued a report saying it has new evidence of widespread and systematic rights violations by government forces seeking to punish those supporting the opposition.

    The group says its workers witnessed Syrian security forces firing on peaceful demonstrators late last month in Aleppo, and that families described soldiers dragging away family members and killing them.

    Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International's senior crisis advisor, said the U.N. Security Council has failed, and called for "concrete action" to hold those responsible accountable.

    "We are now facing a situation which has deteriorated so much precisely because of the failure of the Security Council to act earlier on when the situation was -- when it was more possible to avoid the kind of large scale killings and massacres that we're seeing today,'' she said.

    The group said it has received reports of more than 10,000 people being killed since the crisis in Syria began in February 2011, and that the number could be much higher.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: John from: Accra
    June 14, 2012 12:19 PM
    There is one country that thinks it is always right and the others are always wrong no matter the situation. They can kill, force regime changes and even arrest presidents all over the world. Their press always tow government positions even if it means posting false photos with totally different stories.
    Your guess is as good as mine.

    by: John from: USA
    June 14, 2012 12:06 PM
    The violence in Syria is a walk in the park compared to the death and destruction caused by the USA in Iraq. Where was the UN security coucil when that catastrophe was happening.

    by: Wangchuk from: NYC
    June 14, 2012 9:35 AM
    The PRC has proven again that it has no respect for human rights either of the Chinese people or others like Syrians, Tibetans, Uighurs, & Mongolians. The CCP only cares about power & doesn't want anyone helping the Syrian people b/c the CCP is good friends w/ the Assad regime & many dictators around the world. Dictatorships have to stick together after all & the CCP is the largest one-party dictatorship in the world.
    In Response

    by: Jonathan Huang from: Canada
    June 14, 2012 1:29 PM
    Then, why China is growing so fast even US and Europe are going down at the same time?
    I bet more Chinese are happy with their government than Americans do. Lol
    In Response

    by: Spongebob from: Edmonton
    June 14, 2012 10:43 AM
    NATO and i'tsMuslim buddy countries of Saudi, Qatar, and Turkey have been "backing" the Syrian Opposition demands of regime changes for 16 months now. Why would Assad step down just because these foreign bullies are behind it? He obviously has had, and still has, the support of his government, military, and a majority of the Syrian civilians?
    Perhaps Russia and China are right, both sides in the Syrian conflict need to work together. It seems like the Assad goverment is willing to accept reforms, especially if sanctions continue to increase? So when will the opposition drop it's demand that Assad's regime must step down before they will stop fighting - I'd bet that would likely be all it takes to stop the fighting and the civilians deaths?

    by: Dan Lewis from: Houston Texas
    June 14, 2012 9:12 AM
    I would point out to the Chines officials that they do terrible thing to their own people; that what is proposed for Syria is much less violent than what China has dealt to its own.
    In Response

    by: Jon-Jon
    June 16, 2012 10:17 AM
    China and Russia are simply trying to stop the domino effect. Russia is having its own movement which it has tried to quell many times now, and China has been taking down its own officials in an attempt to "purge" its political system. as far as knowledge goes, the state run media outlets in those countries will not cover any noticable protests and human rights violations, its just to simple to say "its because of the west..." sound familiar?

    also, about economic growth, If i am a man that makes $100 an hour, and gets a $10 per hour raise. that's 10% growth of GDP. however if i am a man that makes $300 and gets a $10 per hour raise. that's only 3%.

    In Response

    by: Jonathan Huang from: Canada
    June 14, 2012 9:48 PM
    The sanction on Iran is illegal, and didn't get permit from the UN, therefore China doesn't have to follow it. China has the right to purchase as much oil from Iran as she wants, period.
    US must follow the international laws, or it gonna taste another 911.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    June 14, 2012 11:55 AM
    The US is considering sanctions on China for its continued puchasing of oil from Iran.
    In Response

    by: dolcome from: Charlotte
    June 14, 2012 10:14 AM
    So why don't the US place sanctions on China?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.