China calls US, Russia to halt ‘Cold War games’ in Syria

Chinese media accuses US and Russia of replaying Cold War scenario, urges both parties to start pushing for peace instead

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A boy makes his way through rubble at a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the town of al-Ghariyah al-Gharbiyah in Deraa province, Syria October 12, 2015.

China's top newspaper accused both the US and Russia of replaying their Cold War scenario, regarding their stances of military action in Syria. The Chinese newspaper published on Tuesday, said both nations need to push for effective peace talks instead.

"The international community, especially large countries with much influence, must fully recognise the critical, urgent necessity to reach a political solution to the Syria issue," said the paper.

The Chinese paper, belonging to the country’s ruling Communist Party, said in a commentary section that the US and Russia are taking advantage of Syria and using the wartorn country as a proxy for diplomatic and military competition, as during the Cold War.

"The United States and the Soviet Union used all sorts of diplomatic, economic and military actions on the soil of third countries, playing tit-for-tat games to increase their influence - it's an old scene from the Cold War," the newspaper wrote in the commentary section.

"But we're in the 21st century now, and people need to get their heads around this!," it added. China had previously repeatedly called for a political solution in Syria.

Russia started its air strikes in Syria on September 30, with the initial aim of battling ISIS militancy, however, in time the Russian intentions in Syria appeared to be to only protect the Bashar al Assad regime and withering authorities.

The commentary was published under the pen name "Zhong Sheng", meaning "Voice of China", often used to give views on foreign policy.

The US is also leading a military coalition battling ISIS, comprising of many countries in the Arab world and Europe.

The UN also pushes US-Russian agreement

The UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura told a news conference on Tuesday that he would hold talks in Russia and then in Washington. De Mistura said the escalating violence made it more urgent to hold dialogue between Syrian government and opposition groups.

United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura leaves after a news conference on the latest developments in Syria at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, October 12, 2015.

He also hopes to reach an understanding between the US and Russia, in talks in both capitals, one or more "contact groups" will be formed of interested countries supporting the talks.

However Syrian National Coalition said any talks proposed by de Mistura would automatically be rejected.

“The National Coalition has decided not to participate in the consultative working groups and considers adherence to the Geneva communique and UN Security Council resolutions and an end to Russian aggression to be the basis for the resumption of the negotiation process,” it said in a statement.

Geneva communique is a feasible agreed upon roadmap for Syria’s conflict, the document was formed at a peace conference in 2012, and consists of the “formation of a transitional governing body with executive powers.”

The National Council also condemned the Russian presence in Syria, saying its not compatible with Moscow’s Security Council membership, and role as a party in peace talks with Syria.

“Russia’s aggression represents a violation of international law and support for the regime in killing civilians, committing war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity,” the Coalition said. The air campaign “undermines the chances of success of any political settlement.”

TRTWorld and agencies