China's UN envoy Li Baodong is pictured in 2011
China's UN envoy Li Baodong told the UN General Assembly that China was committed to playing a "positive and constructive role in finding an early peaceful and proper solution to the Syrian question," but made no mention of international envoy Kofi Annan's six-point plan. © Chris Hondros - AFP/Getty Images/File
China's UN envoy Li Baodong is pictured in 2011
AFP
Last updated: June 7, 2012

China against "outside armed intervention" in Syria

China said Thursday it was firmly opposed to "outside armed intervention" in Syria or "any attempt to forcibly promote regime change" amid mounting violence in the country, Xinhua reported.

China's UN envoy Li Baodong told the UN General Assembly that China was committed to playing a "positive and constructive role in finding an early peaceful and proper solution to the Syrian question," but made no mention of international envoy Kofi Annan's six-point plan.

"We resolutely oppose the solutions to the Syrian crisis through outside armed intervention or any attempt to forcibly promote regime change" despite the crackdown on dissent by President Bashar al-Assad's regime, Li said, according to the state news agency.

"China has taken a fair, just and responsible position on the issue of Syria," he added.

"We steadfastly safeguard the basic norms governing international relations and strive to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East region. And with our specific actions, we have called for peace and promoted negotiations."

The report came as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov vowed there would be no UN Security Council mandate for outside intervention in Syria, indicating Moscow would use its veto to block any military action.

Lavrov told reporters on the sidelines of a trip to Kazakhstan by President Vladimir Putin that any military intervention would play into the hands of the opposition and discourage any hope of a negotiated solution.

China has twice supported Russia in vetoing UN Security Council resolutions that merely hinted at sanctions against the Assad regime.

Annan told the 193-nation General Assembly that it was time to threaten "consequences" if Assad does not halt the strife, expressing horror at the latest massacre -- in the village of Al-Kubeir.

He called for stronger international action to back his peace plan, which includes demands for Assad to pull troops and guns out of cities and halt violence so that political talks can start.

But a cessation of hostilities that officially started on April 12 has now all but collapsed.

With the peace plan floundering, Annan wants the west, Russia and China to join together to increase pressure on Assad to start talks on a process that would eventually force him out of power, according to diplomats.

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