Is the Cold War Bloc Party still going strong? A non-binding UN General Assembly resolution to denounce the violence in Syria passed 137 votes to 12 while 17 countries abstained, with China and Russia among the 12 countries who voted against the measure. Other states who voted against the measure were Syria, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Belarus, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Zimbabwe.
China’s UN representative Wang Min stated China voted against the resolution since it called for regime change by demanding the departure of President Bashar al-Assad, and that the resolution amounted to “undue interference in the affairs of a sovereign state”, according to Al-Jazeera.
The sovereignty argument was also put forth by Syrian representative to the UN Bashar Jaafari, who claimed the resolution would worsen the violence and breed “more chaos and more crisis.”
Russia’s representative Vitaly Churkin said Russia could not back the measure since it did not require the opposition in Syria to cease violence.
“Under these circumstances, the Russian Federation had no other option but to vote against,” he said.
Though outlets like Bloomberg consider the non-binding resolution to be a ‘toothless gesture’, the Telegraph reports that British diplomats consider the resolution to be a sign that the international community is ready to begin putting more pressure on Syria to end the violence that’s claimed an estimated 7000 lives so far.
Meanwhile, Syria’s Ambassador to China Imad Moustapha reports that the streets in Damascus are lined with Syrians overjoyed with China and Russia’s standing tough to American hegemonic notions of what’s good for them:
“The Syrian people are very grateful to China, and Russia,” said Mr. Moustapha. “When the Russian Foreign Minister, [Sergey] Lavrov visited Damascus last week, two million people went to the streets of Damascus carrying Russian flags, and chanting ‘Thank you Russia.’ If a Chinese official will go this week to Damascus he will be greeted by even more Syrians saying ‘Thank you China.’” (via The Globe and Mail)