Syria: China, Russia Won’t Allow Further Transformation Of UN Into West’s Bludgeon

18 February 2012 — Global Times

China unwavering on Syria in new UN vote

Western powers are privileged to interpret interests and ethics at their own will due to their obvious dominance of public opinion. They label the 12 countries who voted differently to them at the UN as being ‘unethical.’ China should never be fooled by this hypocrisy.

The US and Israel were the only two nations that were against a draft resolution on Cuba at the UN Assembly in November. The US appeared to be more isolated than the current 12 nations.

We are a peace-loving nation, which has not been involved in any military conflict for more than two decades. In sharp contrast, countries such as the US and Britain have engaged in numerous wars during the same period. Now, they think to lecture us on justice. Surely, they cannot ignore the irony.

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China voted against a draft resolution on Syria at the UN General Assembly Thursday, days after it vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution pressing for regime change in Damascus.

The country’s courage to truly express itself and to calmly stand its ground is worthy of merit. Some Western media ridiculed certain nations, including China and Russia, for these choices. The trajectory of China’s influence on world politics is rising. The West should be advised to reduce its expectations on abstention votes by China. Like it or not, China’s stance must be taken into more serious consideration.

Politics serve to secure national interests on the global stage. Western powers are privileged to interpret interests and ethics at their own will due to their obvious dominance of public opinion. They label the 12 countries who voted differently to them at the UN as being ‘unethical.’ China should never be fooled by this hypocrisy.

The US and Israel were the only two nations that were against a draft resolution on Cuba at the UN Assembly in November. The US appeared to be more isolated than the current 12 nations. Washington acted against public global opinion despite its monopoly of the world’s richest resources and leverage in directing the world’s development.

China must act confidently and proactively in implementing its diplomatic strategy. China’s vote, representing one-fifth of the entire world population, deserves its due respect.

It is wrong to blindly come down on the side of the West in each vote. Calls for China to vote in along with ‘universal values’ can frequently be heard online. But that is a mere reflection of diverse and vibrant public voices.

Western values that contradict China’s rise would eventually infiltrate global affairs and consequently seek to weaken China in various ways. As China rises, so will the pressure it faces. China appears to be an easy target for some Western media.

A lack of confidence is the root cause for the unease of some Chinese when faced with Western accusations. Confidence comes from looking at facts from a historical perspective.

We have to halt the stereotyped view of China, which is a player more willing to make concessions to avoid trouble. They should be advised to look at China as a country that does not bring unnecessary trouble, but also never shuns away from dealing with trouble head-on.

We are a peace-loving nation, which has not been involved in any military conflict for more than two decades. In sharp contrast, countries such as the US and Britain have engaged in numerous wars during the same period. Now, they think to lecture us on justice. Surely, they cannot ignore the irony.

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Voice of Russia
February 17, 2012

Do Syria and UN fates go hand in hand?
Andrei Ilyashenko

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Russian diplomats have more than once brought the world’s attention to the fact that the UN Charter hinges on the principle of non-intervention. In his interview with Foreign Affairs magazine, William Luers, former president of the UN Association of the United States, upheld this point, saying that this US and Arab-backed Syrian initiative ‘is not a principle of the charter; it’s an interpretation of the charter made by Kofi Annan’…

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On Thursday, the UN General Assembly adopted by a majority vote a resolution on Syria drafted by Egypt with contribution from the US, France and Great Britain. Russia, China and 27 other member states voted against or abstained. Although having no binding force, this document may set a precedent allowing for interventions in the domestic affairs of other countries under the UN aegis.

The vote took place on the anniversary of the first Libyan uprisings that had prompted a swift response from the United Nations. Within a month, the UN Security Council passed two resolutions that were allegedly aimed at protecting the Libyan people amid the ongoing civil war. However, the imposed no-fly zone, which originally pursued this noble goal, turned out to be ‘a foot in the door’ for the NATO intervention which backed the Libyan opposition. An eccentric Libyan strongman, Col. Muammar Gaddafi enjoyed little support in the Arab world or in the West. But ever since his ouster and the ensuing murder, Libya has been teetering on the brink of chaos with regions outside Tripoli quickly falling into field commanders’ hands.

Syria is apparently facing a similar outcome. The country has now seen a year of anti-government protests. However, Russia and China – for the second time in four months – successfully blocked the Feb.4 resolution that left loopholes allowing for the Libya scenario in Syria.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov branded the Western reaction to the Russian-Chinese veto as being ‘nearing hysteria.’

…In the footsteps of her meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, US State Secretary Hillary Clinton proposed to tighten sanctions on the Syrian government to mobilize public opinion in their favour.

Speaking at the UN assembly, Russia’s representative to the UN Vasily Churkin stressed that this draft resolution reflected an alarming tendency to isolate the Syrian leadership and impose a political regime from outside.

Russia and China will clearly be taking forward a political dialogue between the Assad regime and the opposition. The Feb. 26 referendum on a new Syrian constitution and the upcoming parliamentary elections in May can create new opportunities for this. Moscow doesn’t even exclude the possibility of early presidential elections, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was reported as saying.

Still, in its effort to stave off another Libya-styled crisis that could trigger a major civil war in this multinational and multireligious country, the Kremlin does keep an eye out for more long term effects.

Russian diplomats have more than once brought the world’s attention to the fact that the UN Charter hinges on the principle of non-intervention. In his interview with Foreign Affairs magazine, William Luers, former president of the UN Association of the United States, upheld this point, saying that this US and Arab-backed Syrian initiative ‘is not a principle of the charter; it’s an interpretation of the charter made by Kofi Annan,’ a former UN Secretary General, to end the 1994 Rwanda bloodshed. Mr. Luers noted that neither Russia nor China would ever approve the new resolution, despite the positive reaction from other countries.

A similar opinion was expressed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at his Vienna press-conference on Wednesday. It is a problem that concerns the larger Middle Eastern and North African region, many neighboring countries and the very foundations of the modern world. The way the international community will react to this conflict will affect international relations and our commitment to the fundamental principles of the UN Charter, he said.

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