China expounds on its Syria crisis stance

By Bai Tiantian Source:Global Times Published: 2015-10-13 0:43:01

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Mondaystressed China's stance on the Syrian crisis, which includes joint international efforts against terrorism, a political solution and alleviation of the humanitarian crisis.

"China supports counter-terrorism actions that are in line with international laws and endorsed by involved countries," Wang told visiting Syrian Presidential Political and Media Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban on Monday in Beijing.

"We hope all parties could strengthen communication and cooperation, as well as join forces in counter-terrorism actions," the foreign ministry's website quoted Wang as saying.

Russia began striking Islamic State targets in Syria on September 30 with the consent of the Syrian government. Its military involvement has been criticized by the West as an attempt to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad rather than for counter-terrorism purposes.

"China opposes easy interference in other countries' domestic affairs. China supports Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, as well as its approach to find its own path of development that is consistent with its national circumstances," Wang told Shaaban.

"Wang's speech clarifies China's attitude at a time when the geopolitical environment is experiencing critical change. It should be noted that Wang's statement focuses on counter-terrorism, a cautious response to the West's accusations that Russian airstrikes are meant to hit rebel forces," Li Weijian, a professor of West Asian and African Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times.

Responding to Western media reports, Tian Wenlin, a research fellow on Middle Eastern studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said it is unlikely that China will team up with Russia in airstrikes in Syria.

"Diplomatic support from China should suffice at this time. The situation in Syria is quite complicated. The country is geographically far away from China and China has little private interest in the area," Tian told the Global Times.

Wang re-emphasized that political settlement is fundamental in resolving the Syrian issue.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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