China continues to veto any intervention in Syria

14 May

Throughout the conflict in Syria – which has now been going on for over 2 year – China (along with Russia) has vetoed any UN resolution calling for intervention, and often sanctions. This has been met with uproar among many other members of the Security Council. This again brings into question the debate about collective security, the effectiveness of the UN, and whether countries should have the power to veto decisions. The conflict has seen over 1,000,000 people displaced, and thousands killed, raped or tortured, many of whom are ordinary civilians. Russia (Syria’s allie) has blamed the Syrian rebels for the atrocities, whereas the west seems to acknowledge the involvement of both sides, but generally sided with the rebels, as these countries tend to not support President Assad.

One UN Spokesman stated “I do not have an answer for those Syrians I have spoken to who asked me why the world has abandoned them.” (Al Jazeera).

The lack of UN collective action has allowed this violence and civil war to continue for far longer than it necessary. This adds to a list of examples where the UN has been unable to act on issue that are of huge concern, leading to the UN being somewhat discredited. It will be interesting to see how the situation unfolds in Syria; Whether the UN can come to some sort of agreement on what action to take, whether under increasing international pressure China will change their position, and whether the US is likely to act independently without UN agreement. As Obama is continuingly stating a need for intervention despite lack of agreement between the UN, especially if Assad is using chemical weapons as many are claiming he is.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/04/201341819215881121.html

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/04/19/uk-syria-crisis-donors-idUKBRE93I10Q20130419

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42513

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One Response to “China continues to veto any intervention in Syria”

  1. gw2g11 May 14, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Syria and China certainly have tight economic ties, which is surely one of the reasons for China’s vetos. China is Syria’s largest supplier of imported products and they also invested in Syrian oil a few years ago. However one could ask if the size of Syria’s economy and oil production is large enough to explain China’s protection of the Assad government. A realist viewpoint suggests that China supports Syria because they wish to protect their strategic interests in the Middle East. “The logic goes as follows: since Syria is a close ally of Iran, by keeping the Syrian regime intact, or more importantly, preventing a pro-western replacement, China is in fact ensuring that Iran retains its regional support and will not fall prey to another western-led invasion.” Also, the repeated uses of veto by China are a sign that they will become more active in international affairs. China does not wish to see yet another western-led military intervention in the region, under whatever pretext.
    Interesting article on the Chinese interests at play: http://www.opendemocracy.net/nicholas-wong/china%E2%80%99s-veto-on-syria-what-interests-are-at-play

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