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UPDATED: February 20, 2012
Justification for China's Vote Against UN Syria Resolutions
As the Syria crisis continues to fester, the West has naturally moved to seek "regime change" in Syria in a bid to isolate Iran and Hezbollah, their foes in the region, thus tipping the regional balance of power in their favor

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun began to engage with Syrian officials and opposition groups Saturday, on a mission to further expound on China's stance on the Syria issue.

Zhai's visit came after China voted against a draft resolution on Syria at the UN General Assembly on Thursday, less than two weeks after China and Russia vetoed a similar draft at the Security Council on February 4.

The nonbinding resolution adopted at the General Assembly supports a political transition in Syria.

A sober-minded study of the overall, complex situation in Syria would make it easy for people to see the ample justification for China's opposition to the resolutions, though it has drawn criticism from some Western countries.

For a start, China believes, as many others do, there is still hope the Syria crisis can be resolved through peaceful dialogue between the opposition and the government, contrary to some Western countries' argument that time is running out for talks in Syria.

Among Syria's assorted opposition groups, some have voiced willingness to hold dialogue with the Syrian government and also warned those seeking outside intervention against becoming a tool of the West.

However, their calls for peaceful inter-Syrian dialogue have been largely ignored, intentionally or unintentionally, in Western media reports, which convey the wrong impression that there is an overwhelming consensus among different factions of the opposition forces that they want foreign intervention in their country.

Secondly, for Syria, a hotchpotch of different faiths, sects and clans, resorting to foreign intervention is unlikely to produce a balanced and inclusive solution that satisfies everyone.

Worse still, it threatens to ratchet up sectarian tensions, plunging this already volatile country into a bloodier civil war and spreading violence across the region.

Besides, previous cases show that blatant external intervention has provided few episodes of peace and prosperity, as promised by the West.

Blood is still being shed in Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan, where foreign forces have intervened and come to "help." Not a single day passes without innocent people suffering from violence in these countries, killed or maimed, and instead of building the future of their homeland, most of them seem now resigned to their fate.

From this perspective, China's rejection of foreign intervention is the expression of legitimate concerns also shared by many from the international community.

The West, on the contrary, appears to be driven less by their self-proclaimed "lofty goal" of liberalizing the Syrian people than by geopolitical considerations.

Given Syria's strategic importance in the Middle East - bordering Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Israel and Lebanon, as well as its close ties with Iran and Lebanon's armed group Hezbollah, some Western powers have long remained hostile to the Assad government, bent on bringing it down.

As the Syria crisis continues to fester, the West has naturally moved to seek "regime change" in Syria in a bid to isolate Iran and Hezbollah, their foes in the region, thus tipping the regional balance of power in their favor.

However, ballots not bullets would bring prosperity to people around the world.

The best thing outsiders can do is to create a fair external environment that would facilitate an early arrival of peace and prosperity in Syria.

Interventionism by some Western countries would only impede efforts to find a credible and inclusive solution to the crisis, and inflame an already volatile situation there.

(Xinhua News Agency February 19, 2012)

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