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Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Li Baodong after Vote on Draft Resolution on Syria Tabled by the United Kingdom



Mr. President,

China is highly concerned about the increasingly challenging situation in Syria. We oppose terrorism and violence in all their forms, and strongly condemn the recent killing of civilians and the bombing incident in Damascus on July 18.

(photo: by Xin Hua News Agency,  Shen Hong)

The top priority for the international community now is to render full support and coordination to Special Envoy Annan's mediation, support the implementation of the communiqué adopted by the foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group on Syria held in Geneva, the relevant Security Council resolutions and Mr. Annan's six-point plan. The parties concerned in Syria should achieve immediate ceasefire and cessation of violence, and create conditions for an inclusive political dialogue at an early date.

In this regard,the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) has played an important and irreplaceable role. China therefore supports extension of the mandate of UNSMIS,and endorses Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's proposal to appropriately adjust the work of UNSMIS.China supports the Security Council in sending a clear signal about its support for Mr. Annan's mediation and promotion of political settlement of the Syrian crisis, as well as in vigorously pushing for agreement among Council members through consultations.

(photo: by Xin Hua News Agency,  Shen Hong)

The draft resolution tabled by the UK, the US and France, however, completely goes against these goals.

First, the draft resolution is seriously problematic, with uneven content that is intended to put pressure on only one party in Syria. Experience has proven that such practice would not help resolve the Syrian issue, but instead would only derail the issue from the track of political settlement. It will not only further aggravate the turmoil, but also result in spillover of the problem to other countries in the region, undermine regional peace and stability, and ultimately impair the interests of the people in Syria and other countries in the region.

Second, the draft resolution would seriously erode international trust and cooperation on the Syrian issue. Mr. Annan's mediation is an important and realistic way out for political solution of the Syrian issue. Not long ago, thanks to the efforts of all parties, the foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group on Syria initiated by Special Envoy Annan adopted a communiqué, which forged consensus among major parties and opened a new window of opportunity for appropriate settlement of the Syrian crisis. At present, Mr. Annan's efforts to implement the outcome of the meeting are at a critical juncture. The draft resolution, however, fundamentally violated the consensus reached at the Geneva meeting, and has seriously disrupted the new round of mediation efforts made by Special Envoy Annan.

Third, sovereign equality and non-interference in other countries' internal affairs are basic norms governing state-to-state relations enshrined in the UN Charter. China has no self interests in the Syrian issue. We have all along maintained that the prospect and destiny of Syria should be independently determined by the Syrian people, rather than imposed by outside forces. We believe the Syrian issue must be resolved through political means, and military means would go nowhere. This is China's consistent position on international affairs. It is not targeted at a particular incident or at a certain time. Our purpose is to safeguard the interests of the Syrian people and Arab countries, the interests of all countries, the small and medium-sized countries in particular, the role and authority of the United Nations and its Security Council, as well as the basic norms governing international relations.

Fourth, the draft resolution jeopardizes the unity of the Security Council.The Council unanimously adopted resolutions 2042 and 2043,displaying a hard-won spirit of unity and cooperation. During consultations on this draft resolution, the sponsoring countries failed to show any political will of cooperation. They adopted a rigid and arrogant approach to the reasonable core concerns of the relevant countries, and refused to make revisions. It is even more regrettable that, under circumstances when parties were still seriously divided and there was still enough time for continued consultation, the sponsoring countries refused to heed the call of China, some other Security Council members and Special Envoy Annan for further consultation until a text acceptable to all parties is formed, and pressed for a vote on the draft resolution. China is strongly opposed to such practice.

Based on the above reasons, China could not accept the draft resolution and voted against it.

Just now a few countries made statements that confused right and wrong, and made unfounded accusations against China. This is utterly wrong. It is out of ulterior motives, and firmly opposed by China.

China has all along participated in the Security Council consultations on the Syrian issue in a positive, constructive and responsible manner. It is committed to pushing for ceasefire and cessation of violence in Syria, and implementing the communiqué adopted at the Geneva meeting, Security Council resolutions 2042 and 2043 and Annan's six-point plan. China is committed to supporting extension of the mandate of UNSMIS and Annan's mediation efforts.

In contrast, a few countries have been intent on interfering in other countries' internal affairs, fanning the flame and driving wedges among countries. They are eager to see tumult in the world. From the very beginning, they have adopted a negative attitude toward Annan's mediation and UNSMIS. Over the past few months, they have been spreading words about the futility and failure of Annan's mediation and UNSMIS.This time, they repeated their old trick by setting preconditions and obstacles for extension of UNSMIS, and pegged it to invoking of Chapter VII of the UN Charter and threat of sanctions, in an attempt to change, even repudiate the hard-won consensus reached by the Action Group during the Geneva meeting. They showed no sincerity but arrogance during the consultations. We can't help but question their willingness to see extension of UNSMIS, or early settlement of the Syrian crisis through a Syrian-led political process. We urge these countries to earnestly reflect on their policy and behavior, and immediately return to the right track.

There is still some time before the mandate of UNSMIS expires. We call on the sponsoring countries to change their mind, respond positively to the proposals of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Special Envoy Annan, support extension of the mandate of UNSMIS, bear in mind the overall interests of bringing about political solution of the Syrian issue, safeguard the fundamental interests of the people of Syria and countries in the region, and uphold the credibility, authority and unity of the Security Council. China supports the resolution proposed by Pakistan and South Africa on technical rollover of UNSMIS, and hopes that Council members reach agreement on the issue as soon as possible.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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