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China sides with Russia in opposing military strikes on Syria, warns of oil price surge

Published time: September 05, 2013 22:10
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) welcomes China's President Xi Jinping before the first working session of the G20 Summit in Constantine Palace in Strelna near St. Petersburg, September 5, 2013.(Reuters / Grigory Dukor)

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) welcomes China's President Xi Jinping before the first working session of the G20 Summit in Constantine Palace in Strelna near St. Petersburg, September 5, 2013.(Reuters / Grigory Dukor)

China joined Russia in its opposition against military strikes on Syria ahead of the G20 summit on Thursday. Beijing said the use of force would cause a swing in oil prices, thereby hurting the global economy.

“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," China’s vice finance minister, Zhu Guangyao, said at a pre-G20 briefing in St. Petersburg.

The remark was echoed by other members of the BRICS bloc, Reuters reported. Aside from China, the bloc consists of emerging economies including Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa.  

Beijing and Moscow have a “very similar position” on the use of force against the Syrian government, spokesman for the Chinese delegation at the G20, Qin Gang, told RT.

Both nations are “appealing to the countries concerned, to be serious about the possible consequences on the use of military means without the mandate of the UN Security Council,” he said.

“The facts have shown in recent years that military means can’t solve a complicated issue like Syria. On the other hand, military means may cause even more serious humanitarian problems in the region,” Qin explained.

According to Qin, China’s leadership views a “political consultation” as the only way out of the “tragic situation” in Syria, where the country’s civil war has taken over 100,000 lives over the past two-and-a-half years.

 “China is against the use of chemical weapons by any countries, any organizations or any individuals,” Qin said. “And given what’s reported, we believe that it’s very important for the UN to conduct the investigation. Any movement has to be based on the conclusion of the investigation, which should be free from any pressure or disturbances.”

China has spoken out against military action despite being briefed by the US on Monday regarding Washington’s evidence that Assad’s forces were behind a chemical weapons attack which took place on August 21.

Russia’s ex-finance minister, Sergey Kudrin, has echoed China’s concerns regarding a strike on Syria, saying that “any use of force in there increases risks for the global economy.”

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, fourth right, and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, fifth right, meet on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Strelna.(RIA Novosti / Anton Denisov)

Russia is invulnerable to minor fluctuations in oil prices, Kudrin told RT, adding that “if the price changed by $30-40, it would be more noticeable.”

If we expect that the Syrian crisis affects the oil prices for a year or two, this is temporary,” Kudrin stressed. “So, Russia is in no way interested in this kind of oil price spike. Russia would instead want more stability in that region.”

Despite the G20 summit being a purely economic forum, Syrian conflict discussions became the focus of Thursday’s working dinner, during which UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon thanked Vladimir Putin for giving him the opportunity to address world leaders on the issue. Putin allowed the issue to be discussed, acknowledging the impact that it has on the world economy.

Barack Obama is seeking approval in Congress for the “limited” use of force against Syria, as the US claims to have evidence linking Assad’s government to the use of chemical weapons.

Russia says the US should present its proof to the UN Security Council. Otherwise, any military action without a UN mandate would be a violation of international law.

The Kremlin believes that reports of chemical attacks are a “provocation” by Western-backed Islamist rebels, claiming it is illogical for the Syrian government to use toxic gas against its own people.

Both Putin and Obama will use the G20 summit to promote their views on the Syrian conflict, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RT’s SophieCo program.

I have no doubt that Mr. Obama will explain his argument and that he will share his views on this problem with his counterparts,” Peskov said. “And also I have no doubt that Mr. Putin will have a perfect opportunity to share his personal views and Russia’s views on Syria with his colleagues, given the fact that, let’s say, the situation in the camp of those who are seeking a strike is very controversial. And we cannot say that lots of countries are supporting the idea of that strike.”

Comments (33)


Jamieson 07.09.2013 02:58

'Ben Price' time
Today, economically wounded though it is, the United States nonetheless remains the worldʼs most powerful state when power is measured in terms of economic and military assets. In the future, the U.S. economy will
continue to grow, and the United States will remain the most powerful military nation on earth for some time to come. No members of the US congress work for china! Where do you get your information from Ben Price


Ben Price 07.09.2013 02:05

MC. Cain and his party are now working for China.
They get orders from China to make war and cleanup for China to take over the world. They have done everything in the past 20 years just for China.
We need to pay off debt, and focus on China instead of Syria and Mideast.
We need to do now:
1. Tax on rick people to pay off nation debt.
2. Stop imports or control all imports from China
3. Stop legal marijuana use in the USA
4. Do not vote for any senate or congressmen for OK of marijuana use.
5. Put all American spy for China into jail.


Jamieson 07.09.2013 01:59

The US becomes more restrained in fighting global fires: the few that threaten clear national interests are extinguished, but many are allowed to burn. By the end of this scenario, however, the US is beginning to ally with authoritarian states to try to restore some order because of growing nonstate threats. This syrian mess has nothing to do with my stick is bigger than your stick. In fact what we are witnessing is the NWO coming together first voiced by President Bush Sr.

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