Russia and China in a concert of power deeming the U.N. Arab-European draft resolution for Syria inappropriate to promote peace in the Middle East country.
Employing a double veto, the two permanent members of the Security Council managed to prevent any substantive measure being taken.
Wider question: Indicators are pointing that high prices and scarcity are what is driving Syrians to revolt as the civil war gets bloodier with 350 deaths to date. Who and what is driving the regime change? Russia ( a strong ally to the Syrian government) and China (perhaps reflective of their Independent Foreign Policy of Peace whenever/wherever it applies) argue that more consultations are needed. China’s stand is clear – they’re not in agreement of forced regime changes citing the ensuing complexity of the Libyan example. They are reportedly of the belief that changes of regime have to be decided by the local people, not external powers.
See Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin explanation in the People’s Daily here. (update on Feb 7, 2011)
In response, US envoy Susan Rice has declared this act as ‘unforgiveable‘ (see Al Jazeera report).
For one, this is another example of a post-US-led unipolar world where power is more widely distributed.
For more on how the Chinese represented this event, see Russia, China use double veto to block UN draft on Syria by Xinhua, Feb 5 2011.
Against this backdrop it may also be useful to consider this report - China: Rise of Asia signals greater balance (China Daily, Feb 5 2011) China’s Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun at the 48th Conference on Security Policy in Munich February 4, 2012 argues that ‘the rise of Asia represents greater balance in the international power structure’. He further reinforced the idea that the development of East and West is not a zero-sum game in his speech titled “Working Together for Peace, Stability and Development of Asia.”
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Russia, China veto U.N. draft backing Arab plan for Syria
By Louis Charbonneau and Patrick Worsnip
Source – Reuters, published Sat Feb 4, 2012
(Reuters) – Russia and China vetoed on Saturday a U.N. resolution that backed an Arab plan calling on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to quit, stalling global efforts to end his bloody crackdown on unrest after hundreds were reported killed in the city of Homs.
The high-level diplomatic setback came after world leaders and Syrian opposition activists accused Assad’s forces of a massacre in a sustained shelling of Homs, the bloodiest episode in 11 months of upheaval in the pivotal Arab country.
Russia and China joined in a double veto of a Western- and Arab-driven resolution at the U.N. Security Council endorsing the Arab League plan for Assad to hand power to a deputy to make way for a transition towards democracy. Read the rest of this entry »