‘Crucial crossroads’: Beijing warns against military intervention in Syria

Published time: 10 Apr, 2018 18:10 Edited time: 11 Apr, 2018 10:02

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[image: ‘Crucial crossroads’: Beijing warns against military intervention
in Syria]© Jason Lee / Reuters

Beijing has warned against military intervention at a “crucial phase” in
the Syrian conflict, urging countries not to jump to conclusions over the
alleged chemical attack in Douma. The US is considering a strike against

Following reports that Washington is refusing to rule out military action
in Syria, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang urged the West to
show restraint until an impartial investigation into the alleged incident
in Eastern Ghouta on April 7 can be conducted.

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*“Before that, parties should not make a prejudgment and jump to an
arbitrary conclusion,”* Shuang said during a press briefing on Tuesday. *“The
Syrian issue now stands at a crucial crossroads. Political settlement is
the only viable way out and military means will lead to nowhere,”* he added.

In his remarks before the UN Security Council on Monday, Wu Haitao, China's
deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said that the
international community should wait for facts that *“can stand the test of
history”* before demanding action in response to the alleged chemical
attack. He emphasized that Beijing sees no alternative to a political
solution in ending the conflict.

Russia’s UN envoy, Vassily Nebenzia, has also called for the UN chemical
watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons
(OPCW), to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident. The OPCW said
on Tuesday that it would send a team to Douma to investigate the incident.

Nebenzia warned that an unauthorized military attack on Syria, where
Russian troops are legally deployed, would have *“grave consequences.”*

*READ MORE: ‘Mutant fish in murky waters’: US brings global chaos & has no
real friends, says Russia's UN envoy

Trump said on Monday that a *“major decision”* on Syria would be made
within the next 48 hours. *“If it’s the Russians, if it’s Syria, if it’s
Iran, if it’s all of them together, we’ll figure it out,”* he said. “No
response is off the table.”

Damascus and Moscow have both vehemently denied any involvement in the
reported chemical attack. Initial US assessments have also been unable to
conclusively link the attack with the Syrian government or its allies.

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