China asks Syrian regime and opposition to cease fire

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The People's Republic of China called on Syrian government forces and opposition in the Syrian uprising, such as the Free Syrian Army, to end the violence. Previously, China has opposed two attempts at United Nations Security Council resolutions to control the violence in Syria and to ask for President Bashar al-Assad to resign.

While the Arab League, the European Union, Turkey, and the United States all have pursued sanctions against the regime in Syria, China so far has been against the removal of the Syrian regime and has rejected sanctions. The former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan has been newly appointed as a Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League, which has been endorsed by the Chinese statement.

The Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu said the international community should respond to the Syrian government's actions, which he called "savagery". "The fact that aid is prevented and access is refused to United Nations officials constitutes another crime," the minister said. The Red Cross had been denied access to the city of Homs.

China has usually hesitated to support international intervention in national situations, as when a United Nations resolution was invoked to support the bombing of Libya by NATO forces last year.