News / Asia

Xi Jinping: Syria Crisis Can't be Resolved with Military Strike

U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and China's President Xi Jinping, right, shake hands before their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, Sept. 6, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and China's President Xi Jinping, right, shake hands before their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, Sept. 6, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Chinese President Xi Jinping told his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama on Friday that the crisis in Syria should not be resolved through a military strike and urged him to consider a political solution, state news agency Xinhua said.

Xi's are the highest-level comments from China since an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria. They follow remarks by a foreign ministry spokesman, who urged a role for the U.N. Security Council in resolving the crisis after the United States said it had given up trying to work with the council on Syria.

“A political solution is the only right way out for the Syrian crisis, and a military strike cannot solve the problem from the root,” Xinhua quoted Xi as telling Obama on the sidelines of a G20 summit in St. Petersburg in Russia.

“We expect certain countries to have a second thought before action.”

China has called for a full and impartial investigation by U.N. chemical weapons inspectors in Syria into the attack, and has warned against pre-judging the results. It has also said that whoever used chemical weapons had to be held accountable.

Xi stressed to Obama China's position on adhering to the two principles of “maintaining the basic norms of international law and relations” and the prohibition of the use of chemical weapons, according to remarks broadcast by state television.

He urged the international community to work toward a meeting on Syria at a second conference in Geneva, with the aim of discussing an open political transition in Syria.

Russia and China have both vetoed previous Western efforts to impose U.N. penalties on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

But China has also been keen to show it is not taking sides and has urged the Syrian government to talk to the opposition and take steps to meet demands for political change. It has said a transitional government should be formed.

Remarks on Thursday by Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, left no doubt that Washington would not seek U.N. approval for a military strike on Syria in response to the  chemical attack.

Asked about those comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the Security Council needed to be used.

“China supports the important role that the U.N. Security Council plays in properly resolving the Syria issue,” Hong told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

“We hope relevant parties can continue communications and coordination and hold deep consultations so as to resolve the relevant issue in a peaceful way,” he added.

Separately, Xi urged Obama to adopt an “objective and fair attitude” in matters related to the Asia-Pacific region, where there are disputes over maritime rights and islands.

Xi also reiterated China's long-held view on resumption of six-party talks on the Korean peninsula.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 09, 2013 12:25 PM
Mr. Obama keeps tripping over his red lines. Please teach him how to stop doing that. Perhaps him teach to observe silence instead of talking when he does not know what to do. Obama should learn from the Chinese president how to observe diplomatic silence instead of setting lines when he does not understand what they mean in the first place. It is not about writing books - it is not like hoping against hope that the madman in Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, Egypt or Turkey will not cross a red line he has set. Well, by now he's wishing those Arabs were westerners! But he has started already setting another red line of limited strike, who's going to save him from himself once again?

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
September 06, 2013 3:59 PM
If China is advising the US that a military strike against Syrian dictator Assad will not resolve the crisis, why China militarily occupied Xinjiang of Turkmenistan in 1947, Munchuria in 1947, Tibet in 1950, Aksai Chin of India, the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea and Senkaku islands of Japan. If the UN Security Council is strangled by Russia and China, the lawless countries and dictators will not be tolerated by other countries. It is just like the situation that police cannot get the criminals, but the public catch the criminals.
In Response

by: Ian from: USA
September 09, 2013 11:35 AM
To Norman168,
Actually it is a shame that most peoples do not know more about Chinese culture beyond going to a Chinese restaurant & think it is fun to practice using the chopsticks. If they know about China's history, they will certainly be very afraid of Chinese . For thousands of years China has been taken lands from other countries around them. If the Chinese can not accomplish this with wars they will move the borders' markings, inundate the border lands with Chinese and later claim that they always lived there.

They are not beyond using dirty tricks, using the immigrant ethnic Chinese to overthrow other countries' governments .Case in point, they supported the Pol Pot Khmer rouge (many of the leaders are ethnic Chinese who lived in Cambodia) who committed genocide on the Cambodians and killed about 2 million ( approximately 1/3 of the population) On what they call Xisha islands , it was Hoang Sa (or Paracel islands) belong to South Vietnam . The Chinese pretended to aid North Vietnam at the time and invaded these island in 1974.

Now they aim to invade and steal more islands further south in the part of the sea between Vietnam & Philippines . Recently they sent troops into India's land at night . So please stop your propaganda about how peaceful China is , was, or will ever be .
In Response

by: Anna from: Canada
September 07, 2013 9:39 PM
To Norman 168: First, Chinese government has NEVER chooses political solutions over military strike to resolve the crisis. The latest example is the 1989 Tianmen square massacre. Second, Xinjiang and Tibet are all autonomous zones, which are written in the Chinese Constitution. Are Xinjiang and Tibet are autonomous zones in reality? Not at all. What is Chinese army doing in these "autonomous zones"? You claimed that "the communist party helped Tibetan people get ride of slavery". Please answer me one question: How many people starved to death under the "slavery" in Tibet, and how many people starved to death under the communist party during the Great Leap Forward in Tibet?
In Response

by: Norman168 from: china
September 07, 2013 4:00 AM
I'm against your point of view.Firstly,Chinese people treasure harmonious relations(If you understand a little Chinese culture).Unlike America,China always choose politics over military to tackle with national and international affairs.Secondly,Xinjiang,Tibet,the Xisha Islands ,Diaoyu Island and Taiwan are all Chinese territory since ancient times.The Communist Party helped Tibetan people get rid of slavery and made border areas prosperous.Lastly,both you and I can't get touch with the real history and reality because of politics,standpoint and worldview.So please draw a conclusion before a comprehensive thought.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs

Day in Photos

A dog, with his fur dyed green and wearing antlers made out of red fabric, poses for a photograph before participating in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in El Paso, Texas, United States, Nov. 26, 2015.

A dog, with his fur dyed green and wearing antlers made out of red fabric, poses for a photograph before participating in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in El Paso, Texas, United States, Nov. 26, 2015.