China offers 'new suggestions' on ending on Syrian conflict

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 November, 2012, 9:50pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 November, 2012, 9:50pm

China said on Thursday it had made “constructive new suggestions” to end the bloodshed in Syria, including a phased region-by-region ceasefire and the formation of a transitional government.

In an apparent attempt to position China at the heart of efforts to solve the issue, the foreign ministry gave a detailed account of proposals it made to Lakhdar Brahimi, the visiting United Nations-Arab League joint peace envoy.

“In the new proposals there are constructive new suggestions such as a ceasefire which is region-by-region and phase-by-phase, and establishing a transitional governing body,” spokesman Hong Lei told a regular briefing.

“The proposals are based on the latest developments of the situation, and the efforts of the UN, and joint special representative Brahimi’s mediation efforts.”

Beijing’s plan centres on its longstanding position supporting mediation between “relevant parties” and opposing intervention by the international community.

“China’s position on the Syrian issue is consistent. The new proposal is an extension of China’s efforts to push forward a political resolution of the Syrian issue,” the spokesman added.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who met Brahimi on Wednesday, reiterated calls for a “political resolution” to the conflict. Yang also acknowledged the situation was worsening, saying it was now at “a crucial stage”.

China is generally suspicious of intervention in the internal affairs of other nations.

Both it and Russia have exercised their veto in the UN Security Council to block resolutions aimed at putting more pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.