China Presents Plan to End Syrian Conflict – NYTimes.com

A counter-proposal that “looks like the Annan plan”.  Didn’t that one fail?

A new proposal to end the conflict in Syria was presented on Thursday by China, one of the Syrian government’s few foreign defenders, which calls for a phased-in truce, the establishment of a transitional authority and an intensified international response to the humanitarian crisis afflicting millions of Syrians.

It was unclear whether the proposal, presented during a visit to Beijing by the special Syria peace envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, differed substantially from a plan that Mr. Brahimi is formulating in an attempt to end the 20-month-old conflict. But it appeared to reflect concern by Chinese leaders that their consistent support for the legitimacy of the government of President Bashar al-Assad had strained China’s relations with other Arab countries that have been pushing for Mr. Assad’s removal.

via China Presents Plan to End Syrian Conflict – NYTimes.com.

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12 thoughts on “China Presents Plan to End Syrian Conflict – NYTimes.com

  1. Jackie Clark says:

    Did I just read another ambiguous resolution today?? Oh wait, it was just China’s resolution to the Syria conflict! Funny how something that we addressed many times in HRC today occurs in the actual UN. I wonder if it frustrated the Dias reviewing that working paper.

    On a more serious/political note. Assad Abboud, wrote. “Sanctions, boycotts, and laying siege to one party in an attempt to strengthen another leave no objective chance for political action that seeks a solution.” Such a good point! How can the international community expect Syria to develop a government that can work together (the opposite of Israel) when the international community is stomping out a political party altogether? Forecast: when they do form a government they will use the same tactics to get rid of voices that they don’t want to hear. But can we sit back and watch while the killing continues? No. What do we do?

    An interesting article about the domestic political problems in Israel: https://learningsuite.byu.edu/plugins/Upload/fileDownload.php?fileId=6570c2c3-eoxB-cpGK-GnVq-wq518713306b

    • troytessem says:

      Jackie re-emphasizes that China’s resolution was ambiguous and contained very little detail. I am sure the Dias was frustrated by the continued ambiguity. However, I do think that this is another step moving into the right direction. In the least, it is China trying to make an effort to move ticker. Yes, they are late in their support, yes they aren’t offering anything the U.S. hasn’t. But, this does show some willingness on their part to now work through the international forum again. In the least, it could mean that Russia would be standing alone, and any situation where Russia stands alone is better than Russia standing with China. Simply put, it is better than this http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/world/middleeast/syria-homs-death-toll-said-to-rise.html?pagewanted=all.

      I agree, that greater care needs to be used when addressing the political parties in Syria. Bad leadership does not mean that the whole party is corrupt. The U.S. needs to create cross-cutting support for moderate elitists of the differing groups. Extremists are deadly to peace.

      • codyknudsen says:

        I am seeing an interesting side conversation here, and I am going to take advantage of it. Hopefully, in the future, a resolution to the current violence in Syria will be found. During that critical period of time following, I think it will be very important to remember the lessons learned from the de-Ba’athification order given by U.S. officials in Iraq. Targeting a specific party and eliminating it through top-down orders does not work and leads to more insurgent violence and fighting. Doing so alienates large amounts of people and pushes them to fight against those in control. It leaves people jobless, such as professors, and invites extremism. However the situation in Syria plays out, the international community must avoid top-down orders attacking a specific party or political organization and must encourage the political power in Syria from doing the same.

        http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/yeariniraq/analysis/fuel.html

  2. ayoungkang says:

    Another example of dilemma in the United Nations. Suggesting specific plan would have encouraged Russia to strike it down with a veto anyway. But the resolution will have no de facto effect to solve real problems. I can more or less understand some people’s frustration towards UN and world politics where “opening up” a dialogue is a big deal after 20 months and more than 20,000 lives are lost. Citizen in Syria have many reasons to be pessimistic, military action seems vital when call for cease fire is more of a subject of mockery today (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/30/world/middleeast/attacks-continue-during-failed-holiday-truce-in-syria.html?ref=lakhdarbrahimi). Seeing the real example of frustration in negotiating somethung viable in the Security Council, I feel unilateral action by the states is the only viable hope for syrians at this point.

  3. brianmedwards says:

    It is great to see that China is starting to come around. They are now starting to understand the need to help stop the conflict in Syria. Although their ideas may not be too different from the plans already given, it at least shows that they are willing to do something now to start resolving the problem. This article points out the Kofi Annan’s six point plan given earlier. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/03/2012327153111767387.html As stated in another post, it is now Russia standing alone. They will have to come around to see that international help is needed to help Syria and the Syrian people.

  4. ctrmathias says:

    Efforts to reach a truce seem useless now. The attempt a week and a half ago ended quickly with conflict and blood shed. All of these steps China is proposing would have been nice, months ago. It has reached a point where the rebels will not engage in discussion with Assad, and Assad will not step down. Mr. Brahimi believes that Syria is currently on track to develop into a similar circumstance as Somalia is. This would be absolutely disasterious in the already unstable region.
    For more on Brahimi’s comments, the BBC published a summary: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20220183

  5. michaelseancovey says:

    I agree that China’s four-point peace plan for Syria is a step in the right direction and better than nothing. At least they acknowledge that the killing needs to stop. However, that’s about all their plan said: “a cease-fire should be carried out by district and in stages,” and they called for humanitarian aid for refugees. But what about the root of the problem, the political and military conflict? What good is it to say a cease-fire needs to happen without mentioning specific plans for political negotiations? It’s like saying that the physical pain of cancer needs to stop but not planning which hospital or doctor to visit. At least it’s a step for China, but their support of the al-Assad regime has not changed, and their plan will do nothing unless they take specific action on facilitating the negotiation process. A military solution is becoming more unlikely: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/01/us-syria-crisis-china-idUSBRE8A00I420121101

  6. I found a timeline of the events regarding the conflict of Syria. It’s a significantly longer web page than I expected, but a good overview nonetheless: http://www.globalnews.ca/6442588297/story.html.

    After using their veto power on the past three resolutions attempting to address the situation in Syria, I suppose China should be given some credit for coming up a resolution on its own. I agree that the propositions laid out in their document is headed in the right direction, but it’s at a speed that cannot possibly keep up with the advancement of the conflict.

    I’m curious about the reception of China’s resolution in committee. Will it be accepted because of the dire need for something to be done, or will one of the P5 supporting the Syrian rebels pull their veto? Or, will it be rejected until more specific details are put in place, such as a specific timetable?

  7. The part of that article that impacted me the most was the photo of the man with blood on his face mourning the death of his 8-year-old daughter. Things like that remind me that this is something that’s really going on, that’s really causing deaths every day. As we try to sort out our differences and work toward the best solution possible, we are reminded frequently of something mentioned in the article:

    “Back in Syria, people were dying.”

    It must be difficult to resist the urge to look to military intervention as a quick fix, something that will end the suffering quickly. In reality, it will probably just lead to more suffering. So, what are our other options? It is clear that a ceasefire is a tough situation. One of the main reasons why is the fact that the opposition forces are so fragmented, as this CNN article explains:

    ‘…clearly, for the cease-fire to work, the Free Syrian Army has to abide by it.
    The Free Syrian Army is a loosely organized group of men fighting al-Assad’s well-armed forces, and they haven’t given a united statement that they would agree.
    However, a self-described deputy commander said Wednesday that there’s pretty much no chance the rebels will trust the Syrian government.

    ‘”We don’t think the regime is serious with agreeing to the cease-fire, since more than 200 people are martyred every day by the government’s forces,” Malek Kurdi said.’

    In order for a ceasefire to even be considered, the Free Syrian Army, seen by many as the “good guys,” will have to cooperate.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/24/world/meast/syria-civil-war/index.html

  8. mitchmender says:

    Columnist, Assad Abboud, wrote. “Sanctions, boycotts, and laying siege to one party in an attempt to strengthen another leave no objective chance for political action that seeks a solution.” This must be one of the most profound statements i have heard in a long time. If the world desires to have peace a solution must be sought after that is unbiased. So often we seek to aid or help one side which gives them an advantage and does not truly give peace a chance. I have been working at a law firm and in the state of Utah whenever a divorce is happening they must first go through a mediator a non biased third party who can help them hopefully resolve the conflict in the most efficient way possible. The mediator will look at both sides and see the best resolution. So often in diplomacy a solution is sought after by by each side trying to get their agenda accomplished. Like Abboud says by helping just one side a solution will never be reached a plan that will work must be one that is unbiased and equally fair to both sides of the confrontation.

    An article referencing UN mediation attempts.
    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42879&Cr=mediation&Cr1#.UJmZNURiejY

  9. n8hogan says:

    The fact that China has put forth a proposal to the crisis in Syria is great news and is a signal that the international community may actually be able to come to a resolution on how to deal with the civil war. If China and Russia both support this proposal in the Security Council, there may be real progress in stopping the violence. The idea put forth in this article that Syria must propose an end to the conflict may be a necessary solution.

    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43429&Cr=&Cr1=#.UJmos4XgI00

  10. China seems to simply be playing politics. It hasn’t taken steps to give an outright condemnation of the Syrian government. It just wants to make a power play against the U.S. and its allies. If China can somehow insert its own political will into the peace process (and possibly keep its own interests somewhat alive in Syria), then it will be another sign on the long road to Chinese domination in the international community. The only way to really solve the Syrian conflict is to do what the Obama administration is trying to organize–a much broader council of Syrians (including exiles) that can represent the majority of the country’s citizens and interests. As long as the opposition lacks unity like it does now, the government will draw out the conflict and remain in power. The failed cease-fire was largely blamed on different groups because the opposition has little to no central unity (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/world/middleeast/in-syria-cease-fire-for-holiday-falls-apart.html?_r=0).

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