Chinese state media on Wednesday alleged that the US President's earlier warning over the possible use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government is just an excuse for a militarily intervention in the conflict-torn Middle East country.
The Chinese media response came two days after President Barack Obama cautioned that the United States might intervene militarily in the ongoing conflict if the Syrian regime headed by resident Bashar al-Assad uses chemical or biological weapons against the rebels.
Noting that he has not ordered US military intervention in Syria "at this point," Obama warned: "We've been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is if we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus."
In response to Obama's warning, China's state-run Xinhua news agency alleged in an editorial published Wednesday that Obama's warning was another instance of Western powers digging deep for excuses to intervene militarily in Syria.
"With the hypocritical talks of eliminating weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and protecting civilians in Libya still ringing in the ears, such "red line" threats seem to have almost become a signal for the United States and some of its Western allies to sharpen their weapons before exercising interventionism," the Xinhua editorial read.
Xinhua also criticized Obama for what is described as "dangerously irresponsible remarks," and said that such statements "would do nothing but effectively escalate the current bloody situation in Syria and gravely tarnish the prospects of settling Syria's 17-month-old crisis through political means."
Although the Xinhua editorial is by no means an official Chinese statement, it reflects Beijing's fears that Western powers might attempt to forcibly change the regime in Syria by using the steadily deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Middle East nation as an excuse.
A day earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had warned the West against any unilateral action on Syria, saying: "There should be no interference from the outside. The only thing that foreign players should do is create conditions for the start of dialogue."
Lavrov stressed that both Moscow and Beijing are determined to ensure that ongoing international efforts aimed at ending the Syrian conflict "strictly adhere to the norms of international law and the principles contained in the UN Charter, and not to allow their violation." Noting that only the UN Security Council has the power to authorize any kind of military intervention in the Syrian conflict, Lavrov cautioned the West against imposing "democracy by bombs."
Russia and China had used their veto powers at the UN Security Council (UNSC) last month to block a West-backed resolution that would have threatened the Syrian regime with sanctions if it failed to implement a six point peace plan aimed at ending the violence. It was the third time in nine months that the two nations vetoed resolutions on Syria.
Moscow and Beijing were stoutly opposed to a forced regime change in Syria and were also against imposing UN sanctions on the regime. The two nations want the crisis to be resolved by diplomatic means. The two nations, along with the Syrian regime, accuse the West and their Arab allies of escalating the Syrian conflict by arming the rebels. But, the west has rejected the allegations.
Currently, fighting continues between government forces and armed rebels opposed to the regime across Syria. More than 18,000 people, mostly civilians, are believed to have been killed and tens of thousands displaced since anti- regime protests broke out in Syria in March 2011. The conflict is now viewed as a civil war by most of the international community.
by RTT Staff Writer
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