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  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 4:41pm
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DIPLOMACY

Obama to lobby Xi Jinping for support on military intervention in Syria

Backing for military strike likely to be raised in bilateral meeting on sidelines of G20 summit

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 September, 2013, 4:44am
 

President Barack Obama is expected to lobby his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to support military strikes against Syria during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of a G20 summit.

Observers said Beijing was likely to continue to side with Russia to oppose military intervention in response to allegations that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his people.

But they expected Xi to soften the rejection to avoid hurting recent personal ties with Obama, who he met in California in June at an informal summit.

"Beijing may tell Washington that it may support a strike against Syria if the US got clear proof that chemical weapons have been used by the Syrian government," said Jia Qingguo, a professor at Peking University.

The announcement of a Xi-Obama meeting, which was made by the White House yesterday, came as Obama won the backing of US House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi for military intervention in Syria.

Arriving in Stockholm for a two-day visit, Obama said the world had set "a red line" for Syria and the international community's credibility was at stake if it did not take action. "I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line," Obama said, referring to international rules banning the use of chemical weapons.

The only other G20 leader Obama is scheduled to meet on the sidelines is French President Francois Hollande, who is seeking a coalition of European nations to back a military response.

China, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, has said it opposed the use of chemical weapons, but Foreign Minister Wang Yi said a political resolution was the only way out because outside military interference without UN approval would exacerbate turmoil.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Kremlin would not rule out allowing a military operation against Syria if evidence showed that Damascus carried out a chemical weapons attack. But he insisted that any operation without UN approval would be unsanctioned aggression.

Deputy Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said leaders of various nations, including Obama, want to discuss global economic development and challenges with Xi.

Additional reporting by Reuters, Associated Press

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seanniem
Assad regime did not use chemical weapons! The rebels that U.S. is helping throughout all this, did this!
U.N. officials: Syrian rebels used Sarin nerve gas, not Assad’s regime ****www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/6/syrian-rebels-used-sarin-nerve-gas-not-assads-regi/
Russia releases key findings on chemical attack near Aleppo indicating similarity with rebel-made weapons: ****rt.com/news/chemical-aleppo-findings-russia-417/
Obama is a like a school yard bully trying to get his way. Void of reason, morals, credibility. Wait a second, did he win a Nobel Peace prize. Can they take it back?
The Syrian conflict was always about US desperate attempt to to prevent the completion of the natural gas pipeline as part of the strengthening of the Russia & natural gas producing countries alliance, and soon to be defunct US petrol dollars!!! China, along with Russia seek to gain the most from this new world alliance.
Why does Obama even bother talking to China? Xi should just laugh at his face.
DinaMullen
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hohomi
Xi got his education in the cultural revolution during which time China had very bad relations with the Soviet Union. Being taught that Russians were not trust worthy, he would not actually think Russia could be China's real ally.
caractacus
The USA should be very wary with whom it lobbies for support. China will no doubt make some excessive demand in return and there are always fools in the State Department who are stupid enough to dance with the Devil.
TheFundamentals
Xi is not going do any military on Syria. Obama can save some saliva.
seanniem
Xi won't be just silent. US wants a regime change in Syria. And that just won't be allowed by Iran, Russia and China, all of whom will retaliate if the US attack. Further escalation of conflict, we are talking about possible WW3. That's why Obama is playing a very dangerous game.
caractacus
Obama isn't asking for military support from China, just political.
VicSexton
caractacus - hang on a minute, that Ukrainian aircraft carrier could come in handy for target practice

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