China & Russia Veto Action on Syria

The latest UN Security Council draft resolution for action against Syria has been vetoed by both Russia and China. The move was predicted by pretty much everyone involved. Both China and Russia made statements expressing their concerns over the draft, saying that it did not adequately reflect the situation on the ground. They both felt that what was contained in the resolution would negatively affect the situation and was likely to make matters worse through intervention. Russia and China were the only voting members to oppose the draft. And as permanent members of the UNSC, they had the option to use veto power to block the draft’s passage.

“China actively participated in the draft version of the UN resolution. But unfortunately the proposing nation, despite major disputes among various countries, forced a vote… Such practices do not help maintain the unity and authority of the UN Security Council, nor do they help to properly solve the issues. On the issue of Syria, China is not sheltering anyone, nor do we intentionally oppose anyone. We uphold justice and take a responsible attitude. Our goal is to make sure that Syrians are spared from violent conflict and war, not to complicate the issue.”

– Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin

“The Russian delegation was forced to vote against this draft resolution. We seriously regret this outcome of our joint work.”

– Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin

Both Beijing and Moscow felt that the wording of the draft was too vague and that it left an opening for military intervention which they feel would lead to more deaths than benefits. They also said that the draft favoured the side of the opposition forces over that of the Syrian government, that it was not their “place” to take sides in an internal conflict. Both China and Russia have maintained that this incident in Syria is an internal matter that needs to be solved by those in the country.

The United States did not react well to the pair of vetos. American Ambassador Susan Rice told the Security Council after the vote that she was “disgusted” with Russia and China in their decision not to go along wit the draft proposal. She warned that if action was not taken soon there would be more blood spilled in Syria. Russia responded with Vitaly Churkin saying that it was unfortunate that some colleagues have bizarre interpretations of their intent.

If history is any indication then I feel Syria should be left alone to deal with its own situation by itself. The so-called humanitarian interventions by NATO forces in the past have almost always lead to more bloodshed that it was claimed they were trying to stop. Libya is a good indication of that.