China Argues Against US Action Against Syria



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China on
Monday urged the U.S. not to take unilateral action against Syria in response
to last month’s chemical weapons attack against civilians.
Chinese
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Washington had briefed Beijing over
the matter and China was highly concerned about any use of chemical weapons.

But he said
China opposed the U.S. acting alone and believed any response must conform to
the U.N. Charter and the basic principles underlying international relations.
“China
… holds the belief that a political resolution is the only realistic way to
solve the Syrian issue,” Hong told reporters at a regularly scheduled
briefing.
“China
is highly concerned about the relevant country’s plan on taking unilateral
military action,” Hong said, adding that the international community must
“avoid complicating the Syrian issue and dragging the Middle East down
into further disaster.”
China has
consistently joined Russia in blocking any U.N. action that could lead to the
downfall of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.
The U.S. says
the use of chemical weapons in Syria killed at least 1,429 civilians. The U.S.
argues that Assad’s government is responsible, while others say the evidence is
not clear.
President
Barack Obama is trying to convince Americans and the world about the need for
action in response to the attack. Only France is firmly on board among the
major military powers, after Britain’s Parliament rejected the use of force in
a vote last week.
Russia’s
foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said Monday the information the U.S. showed
Moscow to prove the Syrian regime was behind the chemical attack was
“absolutely unconvincing.”
Hong didn’t
address the possibility of the U.S. acting together with France or another
ally, although Beijing would almost certainly be opposed to any action.
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