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Beijing-Damascus: Chinese principles in the Syrian war
Material posted: Pankratenko Igor N.Publication date: 07-09-2016

The recently held meeting of the Minister of defense of Syria Fahd Jassem al-Fraga with the military delegation of the people's Republic of China deservedly attracted the attention of politicians and experts in the middle East and the rest of the world.

Head of the delegation, rear Admiral Guan Ufa, head of the office for international cooperation of the Central Military Council of China, a body which, as is known, is chaired by the Chinese President XI Jingping - are quite clearly and definitely expressed the position of his government on the Syrian issue. Without the inherent diplomats meaningful reservations, the head of the Chinese delegation stated that, first, Beijing will continue to support the legitimate government headed by Bashar al-Assad. And, secondly, China is ready to expand its cooperation with Damascus on a wide range of issues – from military-technical to the Humanities.

However, the development of this story was somewhat unexpected: a number of Russian mass media immediately reported that it is "China joins the international the war in Syria on the side of Russia," and almost from day to day will send in the order of Damascus, a considerable body of military advisers.

Something like this in the Russian press was already a year ago, when the news channels spread information that, for joint operations with Moscow to the shores of Syria extends Chinese aircraft carrier "Liaoning-CV-16", that reality did not match. Goggles such bold statements, politicians and experts in Beijing did not condemn the Moscow propagandists to outright lies, but only ironically noticed that "the Russian official media always love to mislead its own population and the rest of the world is specious for them by the international news to act to achieve their goals."

Like an ironic reaction is present and now, to Beijing it is reasonable. First of all, China to the Syrian events do not now join. From 2007 to 2010, China has put Bashar al-Assad's weapons at $ 300 million. And after the start of the rebellion, which grew later into a full-scale conflict, fully supported by the legitimate government in Damascus, while continuing to flawlessly execute previously signed agreement on military-technical cooperation.

Such a consistent position of Beijing has aroused the irritation of Washington, and, to the extent that in February 2013, the Americans imposed sanctions against Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation – two major Chinese state-owned companies, through which came imports of Damascus. In their characteristic deadpan manner, the Chinese... these sanctions are ignored, while continuing to work with Assad, and supporting the Syrian government concessional loans and humanitarian supplies.

Another reason Chinese irony is a statement that China in the Syrian conflict "is on the side of Russia." First of all, in any geopolitical combinations in the PRC to their own side. And then, in this case a key ally (excluding Damascus) China regards Iran, since it is a partnership with Beijing regards him as a key to regional security and to minimize American influence in the region.

Another strategic aspect of China's policy in Tehran (and not only the middle East but also in Central Asia) is to ensure energy security, as Iran is not only the stability of the Strait of Hormuz, but long-term, guaranteed supplies for the needs of China's economy, the necessary amounts of energy through the piping network.

It is the consideration of these factors, the importance of Tehran to Beijing as a key regional partner guided XI Jingping when he cancelled his visit to Saudi Arabia after the aggression of Riyadh in Yemen.

However, the policy of China in the middle East and against Iran – a topic for another conversation, and if she will interest the readers of news Agency Fars, he will certainly continue. Now back to the topic of the Syrian-Chinese agreements reached during the talks, defense Minister Fahd Jassem al-Freyja with their counterparts from Beijing.

Of course, we are not talking about the dispatch to Syria of any significant Chinese contingent of advisers and trainers. Here the position of the Chinese leadership, unequivocal, and confirmed that the meeting with al-Rajem rear Admiral Guan Ufa – Chinese soldiers will not participate in the civil war. However, Beijing has expressed willingness to expand military-technical cooperation with Damascus, confirmed the intention of the Chinese government to provide concessional loans to the Syrian government (including the purchase of weapons, the list of which and unmanned aerial vehicles), as well as to continue training for the Syrian army and to expand the list of humanitarian aid. Moreover, the Chinese military did not reject the possibility that, if necessary, Beijing will consider the possibility of escorting humanitarian convoys on Syrian territory on their own.

A separate topic of the talks was the issue of expansion of cooperation of special services of the two countries against the Uighur separatists. Let me remind you that in the Islamist guerrillas in Syria - jabhat al Fatah al-sham" - about the end of 2014, actively fighting the Islamic movement of East Turkestan (ETIM). Are followers of one of the trends of Salafism that my main goal is to declare the secession from China's land, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region (XUAR), which is densely populated by Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking people professing Sunni Islam. Remarkably, their "political headquarters" - the world Uyghur Congress, located in new York, and the activists of the headquarters invariably have the ear of the media and the American authorities, especially when the White house on different occasions – "of a violation by Beijing of human rights, oppression of minorities and the absence of democracy picks the next anti-China campaign.

Another feature of the Uighur separatists is that their main base are almost not controlled by the authorities of Pakistan's territory of Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan. In short, IVDT spread its network across the Middle East, actively offers its services to intelligence agencies of any country, unfriendly minded towards China - which makes it quite a dangerous opponent for Beijing.

It is quite natural that in these circumstances, the Chinese side is interested in obtaining the maximum information about operating in Syria the militants among the Uighur separatists, and promoting for adoption in respect of them response. She was promised by the representatives of Damascus.

And finally, it is necessary to mention a very important political result of the past of the Syrian-Chinese talks. Reiterating their support for the legitimate Syrian government, Beijing has unambiguously let know to friends and enemies of Assad that he would not "write off" him from the political arena and not going to organize around this any game. "Assad is the rightful President of Syria. The support of other States, including Beijing and Tehran, a completely legal and legitimate" - so looks today the position of the Chinese leadership and change in Beijing do not intend to.

As for the actual settlement of the Syrian crisis, it is not amiss to recall that the Chinese vision of its core principles – the so-called "five consecutive positions," was presented September 30, 2015 the official representative of the Chinese Ministry of foreign Affairs Hun Ley: "first, the Syrian conflict must be resolved through political means. The use of military force is not a solution to the conflict, the parties should Express their demands through dialogue and negotiation.

Second, strongly adhere to the position that the Syrian people should decide the fate of the state. The political transition process in Syria needs to lead the Syrian people and only the independent Syrian people to decide the future of Syria.

Third, to facilitate an early comprehensive political development of Syria, in the shortest possible time to initiate an equal, tolerant and open political dialogue.

Fourthly, to insist on the achievement of national reconciliation and unity of Syria. For national reconciliation and the unity of Syria an open dialogue.

Fifth, to insist on the provision of humanitarian assistance to Syria and neighboring countries to increase humanitarian aid to the Syrian people and the peoples of neighboring countries." As shown by the negotiations between military representatives of the two countries, these principles Beijing and intends to defend in the future.

Igor Pankratenko


Tags: war , Syria , China

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