Moneycontrol PRO

China backs Russia on Syria at G20

China backs Russia on Syria at G20

September 05, 2013 / 11:20 PM IST

As the leaders of the world's most powerful nations arrived in St Petersburg on Thursday for a G20 summit that has already been overshadowed by Syria, China said military action against the Assad regime would hurt the world economy and push up oil prices.
"Military action would have a negative impact on the global economy, especially on the oil price - it will cause a hike in the oil price," Chinese vice-finance minister Zhu Guangyao told a briefing before the start of the G20 leaders' talks.
In Beijing Hong Lei, China's foreign military spokesman, said that any party resorting to chemical warfare should accept responsibility for it, but added that unilateral military action violated international law and would complicate the conflict.
Before the Syria crisis escalated, the G20 gathering was set to focus on concerns about the tapering of monetary policy in the US, global growth and the taxation of multinational corporations. But Syria, while not on the official agenda, is now set to dominate discussion at the economic forum and raise the already fraught diplomatic stakes.
On the eve of the summit, Barack Obama, US president, again forcefully made the case for a strike against Syria, saying the world "had to act" against the regime of Bashar al-Assad to maintain the credibility of a global ban on chemical weapons.
The US president's stance has stoked tensions with Vladimir Putin, the summit's host and an ally of Mr Assad, who has accused the US regime of lying about the Syrian rebels and "sanctioning aggression".
Russia and China have made it clear they will veto any military intervention in the UN Security Council, but Mr Obama is seeking the backing of US Congress in a vote next week.
Russia and Syria have been longtime allies and Moscow has repeatedly blocked UN action against Damascus since the civil war started in March 2011.
Speaking in St Petersburg on Thursday, Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, said the apparent chemical weapons attack on Gouta, a suburb of Damascus, on August 21 was "a crime against humanity".
He said that according to information presented by some countries, including EU member states, "the Syrian regime is the only one that possesses chemical weapons and the means for their delivery in sufficient quantities" to have carried out the attack.
However, he underscored the need to address the Syria crisis "through the UN process".
"There is no military solution to the Syria conflict, there can only be a political solution," he told a press briefing at the G20 summit.
He also urged a team of UN inspectors who recently returned from examining evidence in the attack to issue a preliminary report as soon as possible.

More News From Financial TimesChina backs Russia on Syria at G20
Obama says world 'has to act' against Syria
Obama says world 'has to act' against Syria
Crisis mood should focus G20 heads
Obama says world 'has to act' against Syria

Tags: #Wire News
first published: Sep 5, 2013 12:12 pm