BEIJING, March 5 (UPI) -- China, offering a political resolution to the crisis in Syria, called on its regime and others to immediately stop all violence, especially against civilians.
In a multi-point statement, a "leading Chinese Foreign Ministry official" was quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency as saying China "firmly maintains that the current crisis should be resolved through political dialogue in a peaceful and appropriate manner."
The official, saying China is a friend of the Arab people, including the Syrian people, warned political dialogue cannot start when violent clashes continue.
Stressing China is committed to upholding the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, the statement said:
"The Syrian government and all parties concerned should immediately, fully and unconditionally cease all acts of violence, particularly violence against innocent civilians."
Early last month, China and Russia, as permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, vetoed a resolution condemning the violence in Syria and supporting an Arab League plan asking Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down. China said then the resolution had demanded a regime change.
In its plan for resolving the crisis, China also called on the Syrian government and various factions to begin an inclusive political dialogue with no preconditions.
In other points it offered, China said it supports the United Nations' leading role in coordinating humanitarian relief efforts but opposes anyone interfering in Syria's internal affairs under the pretext of "humanitarian" issues and welcomes the appointment of a joint special envoy by the United Nations and the Arab League to pursue a political resolution, and urged the U.N. Security Council to strictly abide by the purposes and principles of the U.N. Charter.
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