Wang Yi: The Syria Issue Can Only Be Resolved Politically
2014/01/07

When asked in his recent exclusive interview with Al Jazeera about China's role in resolving the Syria issue, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the issue can only be resolved politically.

Wang Yi said that as a permanent member of the Security Council, China is fully aware of its responsibility and obligation for upholding international peace and stability. China is very serious and prudent when it comes to voting at the Security Council. In making a decision on how to vote, China goes by the following principles. First, the purposes of the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations, particularly the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of members and equality of all countries regardless of size must be upheld. This underpins the very survival and development of the developing countries, small- and medium-sized countries in particular. Second, the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of each and every country, which is the basic texture of the international order, must be upheld. If this is breached, many countries may feel insecure. Third, peace and stability of the regions concerned should be maintained. The fundamental and long-term interests of the countries and peoples in the region should be taken into consideration whenever such a decision is made.

Wang Yi stressed China's consistent view that the Syria issue can only be resolved politically and there can be no other way. The war there has been going on for three years and people have now realized that war can resolve nothing and violence can only breed hatred. This is why more and more countries have come to favor a return to the track of political settlement.

Wang Yi pointed out that to make the Geneva II conference a success, much work remains to be done. The most pressing task is to put an end to the war and violence. It's unthinkable that the two sides are sitting down at the negotiating table while the fighting is still going on. At the same time, the work to destroy Syrian chemical weapons must not stop. The process should move forward step by step, until a complete and thorough destruction of all such weapons is achieved. With Geneva II providing an important platform for a political settlement of the Syria issue, the international community, China included, should create an enabling environment and atmosphere to this end, whereby urging the two sides in Syria to sit down at the negotiating table. Others may offer suggestions, make proposals, and submit plans, but only for the two sides in Syria to consider. Nothing should be imposed on them. The Syria issue, ultimately, needs to be resolved through equal-footed negotiations between the two sides in Syria. Such negotiations are expected to be tortuous, and not smooth at all. What is clearly defined is the future course of peace negotiations, the goal of which is also clearly defined as the implementation of the Geneva Communiqué. We hope that the negotiations will not only take place but also continue. Though time-consuming, as the negotiations may be, we must do our best to keep their momentum. China has already done a lot of work to promote Geneva II. So China hopes the conference will start on 22 January as scheduled and will play its due role at the conference.

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