Media described Wednesday's UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting, where the UK proposed a resolution to authorize the use of military force against Syria, as "fiercely divided" with Russia and China firmly opposed.
As the US made clear later on the same day that it would seek to bypass the UNSC in regard to Syrian action anyway, a possible air strike looms as a possibility.
Russia, a staunch ally of Syria, is reportedly deploying warships to the Mediterranean. This has been interpreted as a new point of tension between Moscow and the West in regard to possible strikes against Syria.
China has reiterated its firm stance that a political settlement remains the only realistic means to resolve the Syria issue, and that external military interference would be in conflict with the UN Charter and worsen the turmoil in the Middle East.
China is not able to play a leading role in the Syria issue.
The past couple of days witnessed a reemergence of voices hyping Beijing's so-called strategic dilemma in the Middle East, namely the conflict between China's demand to protect its interests in this region and its lack of influence there. Beijing should not be bothered by this discussion.
Beijing is simply pursuing the principle of prompting a political solution to the Syrian crisis, which should not be complicated by any external military intervention. China should be confident when insisting on its policy position and do what it can.
China should voice its opposition against military intervention more clearly than ever. China is not fully convinced that the strikes will stay "limited" as the West promises at the moment.
The US does not want to be dragged into another abyss of war. But Syria, seen as the nerve center of the Middle East, has a far more prominent role than Libya.
The spillover effect of military strikes against Syria, if they spiral out of control, may lead up to dramatic changes in Middle Eastern geopolitics. The US and its allies face tough issues in the region.
There is no shortcut to solving the Syria issue, and the US will most likely involve itself in endless chaos if it insists on "quick" strikes.
As many regional observers have noted, the Pandora's Box of Syria, once opened, will be extremely difficult to close.