News / Asia

US, Chinese Leaders to Discuss Syria at G20

U.S. President Barack Obama meets Chinese President Xi Jinping at The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California, June 7, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama meets Chinese President Xi Jinping at The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California, June 7, 2013.
William Ide
Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg. Syria is expected to be a key topic during the meeting, but political analysts in Beijing say it is unlikely China will waver in its opposition to U.S.-led military action in the war torn country.
 
The meeting between Obama and Xi will be their first since the two met earlier this year at a resort in California. At that casual, no necktie summit, the two focused more on a host of thorny issues that confront U.S.-China relations.
 
This meeting will be much different. This time, the two will be sitting down on the sidelines of a summit for the Group of 20 leading world economies, a largely economic gathering that is being overshadowed by the conflict in Syria.
 
China has repeatedly voiced its opposition to military action in Syria and has long opposed any form of intervention in the civil war. Along with Russia, it has already vetoed two United Nations resolutions aimed at pressuring Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
 
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei issued a stern warning against military action once again on Thursday. "Unilateral military actions go against international law and the norms of international relations and will further complicate the Syrian issue and cause the Middle East more turbulence,” he said.

Speaking with reporters in Russia Thursday, China’s Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao echoed that position and went even further. Zhu warned that military action would have a negative impact on the global economy as well as the price of oil.

Political analysts in Beijing said the meeting between Obama and Xi is not likely to be confrontational, but add there is very little room for negotiation.

“China's position is close to Russia, and if Russia shifts its stance, China might also not maintain a confrontational attitude towards the United States.  At present, though, there is very little room for agreement between China and the U.S. on Syria,” stated Chen Qi, a political scientist at Beijing’s Tsinghua University.

Shi Yinhong, a political scientist at Beijing’s Renmin University, said he doubts either side has high expectations going into the meeting given their respective stances. He said that if the U.S. wants China’s support, it should go to the U.N. Security Council first. “America’s position is fixed and President Xi Jinping can’t say to Mr. Obama 'abandon your plans for a military strike,'” he explained.

Even so, Shi said Xi is likely to still make his opposition to unilateral action clear.

Chen Qi said that given that Xi will meet with both Russia’s president and Obama while in St. Petersburg, it is even more unlikely that China’s stance could change. But he said that personally, he believes Beijing should do just that.

“I think China should support U.S. military intervention in Syria because it would be an opportunity to shape a strategic cooperation between the two countries," Chen Qi said. "And also China would benefit rather than be harmed by a military operation.”

Chen added that more U.S. focus on the Middle East means less pressure on China in the Pacific region.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Judith Kay from: USA
September 05, 2013 8:57 AM
Give the rebels Way bigger weapons to use...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid