CHINA

Chinese rebel against government’s Syria veto online

 Members of China’s vast Internet community have flocked to social networking sites to voice criticism of their government’s decision to veto a UN draft resolution condemning the 11 month-long crackdown on anti-government protests in Syria, saying the move does not represent them.

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Members of China’s vast Internet community have flocked to social networking sites to voice criticism of their government’s decision to veto a UN draft resolution condemning the 11 month-long crackdown on anti-government protests in Syria, saying the move does not represent them.

 

China and Russia were the only two countries to veto a UN Security Council draft resolution on denouncing the bloodshed in Syria and demanding President Bashar al-Assad quit power.

 

The international backlash to China’s vote was almost immediate. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton labelled the act a “travesty”, while France’s ambassador to the UN described the situation as “a sad day for Syrians and a sad day for the friends of democracy”.

 

Unfazed, the Chinese government defended its decision to reject the resolution via a commentary published in the official People’s Daily newspaper. While the article acknowledged the escalating violence in Syria, it also accused the West of being irresponsible.

 

“Currently, the situation in Syria is extremely complex. Simplistically supporting one side and suppressing the other might seem a helpful way of turning things around, but in fact it would be sowing fresh seeds of disaster”, the article stated.

 

And that was meant to be that.

 

Chinese Internet users, however, have refused to let their government have the last word on the subject. The issue caught the attention of political cartoonist Remon Wang, also known as Rebel Pepper, whose highly critical sketches quickly went viral.

 

 

The world’s largest micro-blogging site, Weibo, has also been flooded with scathing criticism of China’s vote to shoot down the UN’s draft resolution.

 

“Maybe Russia’s veto was motivated by the upcoming presidential elections in March, but what was China’s for?”

 

Comment posted by Weibo user Han Zhiguo on February 5.

 

"China has hurt its international position. The tragic massacre in Syria has the international community in an uproar. China and Russia vetoed again, angering other countries. Obama has issued a tough statement demanding Bashar al-Assad step down. Syria is headed down the same disastrous road as Libya. Maybe Russia’s veto was motivated by the upcoming presidential elections in March, but what was China’s reasoning?"

 

“The consequences could be serious”

 

Comment posted on Weibo by user God bless China A on February 9.

 

"China’s government has been fooled by Russia again. Russia will now forget about China’s veto and try to force Bashar al-Assad to step down. China upset Europe, the US and the Arab League, which may have cost them their ability to negotiate for other resources. The consequences could be serous: 1. If the Arab League decides to impose sanctions against China, China will face an oil shortage 2. Russia could then exploit China’s oil shortage to force China into paying higher prices!"

“They are ultimately supporting a dictatorial regime that oppresses people”

 

Comment posted on Weibo by user Song of soul on February 9.

 

"Many countries have condemned China and Russia’s veto on the Syria issue. China’s foreign ministry has responded by rejecting this criticism, saying China’s decision was not based on self-interest. Officials’ foreign policy is unjust and villainous, and they have irrationally argued the veto, ultimately supporting a dictatorial regime that oppresses people. They treat people like nothing".