US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley holds photos of victims as she talks about the suspected deadly chemical attack in Syria at a UN Security Council emergency session on Wednesday. Photo: AFP
It is still too early to conclude whether Bashar al-Assad's government is responsible for the gas attack in a rebel-held area in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib on Tuesday, which killed at least 70 people, Chinese analysts said, adding China's appeal for a comprehensive investigation into the incident should be considered.
China supports the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and related UN entities in carrying out a comprehensive, objective and fair investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Liu Jieyi, China's permanent representative to the UN, said on Wednesday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
Liu made the comments at a Security Council emergency meeting on the Syrian incident, where the US, the UK and France envoys proposed immediate sanctions against the Syrian government, whom they think should be blamed for the attack.
Assad doesn't have a motive to launch the attack under current circumstances, said Li Weijian, a professor at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.
"The current situation in Syria is favorable to Assad because he has almost full control of the country. So it's not necessary for him to use chemical weapons, which would be condemned by the international community," said Li.
US President Donald Trump, who previously adopted the policy of fighting IS over disagreements with the Assad government, criticized the Syrian regime on Thursday, accusing it of going "beyond a red line," and that it "crosses many, many lines."
Though he gave no indication of how he would respond, Trump said his attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much, Reuters reported.
"There is the possibility that the Syrian rebels plotted the attack, since they knew the US would take action if the Assad government uses chemical weapons," Li said.
According to a report from China Central Television, Liu responded to the claim of the UK ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycrof that a previous veto from Russia and China on UN sanctions on Syria over a gas attack caused the latest incident.
"The British representative publicly distorts the solemn position of other countries, this is unbearable. On the chemical weapons issue, which sees an international consensus, I hope the British representative stop misusing the Security Council to achieve his own political ends. This is not in the Syrian people's interests," said Liu.
With China enjoying a growing influence in international affairs, the United Nations' resolutions will no longer be dominated by Western countries, Li told the Global Times.
Liu said at the meeting that a political settlement is the only way out of the Syrian crisis.