pressing the Syrian regime to stop murdering innocent civilians, is NATO
hurtling haphazardly into another devastating war? According to this column
from China's state-run People's Daily, China and Russia vetoed a U.N.
Security Council resolution that would have called for a 'political transition
to democracy' because, 'Even if the chance for a peaceful settlement is slight,
it's worth going all out for.'
On Feb. 4, the U.N. Security
Council voted on a draft resolution to deal with the Syria crisis. Based on the
concept of seeking to resolve issues through peaceful negotiation and political
means, China and Russia vetoed the resolution.
The situation in Syria
continues to worsen and civilian casualties continue. The fact that China vetoed
the U.N. Security Council draft resolution doesn't mean China will sit idly by
and watch this sad situation unfold. What it means is that China is concerned
for the fundamental interests of the Syrian people. The situation in Syria is
very complicated, and it is naïve to think simply supporting one side or the other
side will bring a favorable turn, In fact, such a course may lead to disaster.
[Editor's Note: The draft
resolution backed an Arab League plan for resolving the Syria crisis, which
called for efforts to facilitate of "political transition to democracy."
Authority authorizing the use of force was specifically removed to satisfy
Russia and China].
Promoting the idea of peacefully
resolving a domestic conflict will not only effectively stop the violence from
spreading, it will lay the foundation for long-term stability. Using violence
to restrain violence won't bring long-term peace.
It isn't hard for the world's
most powerful military alliance to topple the administration of a small country
through war. The trouble is that the military giant will withdraw when the war
is over. And even if it stays a while, protecting the lives of civilians won’t be
its primary task. The tragedies of Iraq and Afghanistan have proven that again.
The use of violence as a way
of preventing humanitarian disaster may sound just and responsible, but aren't
the attacks and explosions that have struck Iraq and Afghanistan since their regimes
were toppled humanitarian disasters as well? If U.N. Security Council member take
this potential result into account, they would be more cautious in dealing with
Syria's civil disorder.
There are voices asserting
that to respect the Syrian peoples' democratic will means to support the use of
force to replace the Syrian regime. But the Syrian people have an independent
democratic right to support the government of their choice; and that government
has an obligation to maintain national stability and protect public security. The
only way this can be achieved is through national reconciliation.
Even if the
chance for a peaceful settlement is slight, it's worth going all out for. The international community needs to give more chances
to peace. That is how to take responsibility for safeguarding the Syrian people.
The purpose of the United
Nations Charter is to maintain international peace and security. The United
Nations may stop aggression, but it cannot force a nation to replace its regime.
It is China's principle to
promote a peaceful settlement of the Syria crisis and help the Middle East move
toward stability. This shows China's deep concern for the fundamental interests
of the Syrian people and as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, embodies
the high degree of responsibility China feels for world peace.
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