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

    US Watching as North Korea Opens Biggest Political Meeting in Decades

    As Workers' Party Congress opens, Washington anticipating possibility of another missile launch or nuclear test as top officials gather

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    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.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora