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.

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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.

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