Sunday, September 27, 2015

Chinese Military and Aerial Assets to Syria

Chinese PLA in Yemen
Things are becoming interesting, Game Changer ?.  

Apparently a pro Assad newspaper reports that Chinese Military personnel and Aerial assets are on the way to Syria.  (Update: Sep 26th: Debka reports that Chinese aircraft carrier and a guided missile cruiser have docked in Tartus, Syria.  Pravda also reports China Joining Russia in Syria)

As far as I know this is the first time the Chinese have sent troops to a war zone.  That is other than the rescue operation by the Chinese PLA in Yemen.  Also other minor issues of sending 5 Navy ships of the coast of Alaska while Obama was visiting the state and getting read to deploy nuclear sub that can hit the US mainland.
On Tuesday morning, a Chinese naval vessel reportedly traveled through Egypt’s Suez Canal to enter the Mediterranean Sea; its destination was not confirmed.

However, according to a senior officer in the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) that is stationed inside the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, Chinese military personnel and aerial assets are scheduled to arrive in the coming weeks (6 weeks) to the port-city of Tartous – he could not provide anymore detail.
Apparently the Chinese are in Syria to stop Turkestan Islamic Party, Uighur Islamists who were smuggled by Turkey from China to Syria.
 Here's what China had to say at the May 22, 2014 meeting about the war in Syria: Note the bold words, in context of Sri Lanka. Probably a little to late now.
Mr. Wang Min (China) (spoke in Chinese): For over three years, the escalation of the conflict in Syria has inflicted deep suffering on the Syrian people and posed a serious challenge to the countries of the region and the international community. China has always maintained that all parties in Syria should respect human rights and international humanitarian law and prevent innocent people from being harmed during the conflict. China is firmly opposed to all violations of international humanitarian law or serious violations of human rights committed by all parties to the conflict in Syria. However, with regard to draft resolution S/2014/348, on which the Council voted earlier, China has some serious reservations. First, China believes that any action to seek recourse to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute the perpetrators of serious violations should be conducted on the basis of respect for State judicial sovereignty and the principle of complementarity. China is not a State party to the Rome Statute. China always has reservations concerning the referral by the Security Council of particular country situations to the ICC. This is our principled position.

What is most urgently needed now is to urge the Government of Syria and the opposition to immediately implement a ceasefire and put an end to the violence in order to start a third round of negotiations in Geneva so as to advance the political process and embark on a political transition. In the current circumstances, to forcibly refer the situation in Syria to the ICC is not conducive either to building trust among all parties in Syria or to an early resumption of the negotiations in Geneva. It will only jeopardize the efforts made by the international community to push for a political settlement. 

Thirdly, for some time now, the Security Council has maintained unity and coordination on the question of Syria, thanks to efforts by Council members, including China, to accommodate the major concerns of all parties. At a time when seriously diverging views exist among the parties concerning the draft resolution, we believe that the Council should continue holding consultations, rather than forcing a vote on the draft resolution, in order to avoid undermining Council unity or obstructing coordination and cooperation on questions such as Syria and other major serious issues. Regrettably, China’s approach has not been taken on board; China therefore voted against the draft resolution.

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