World Bulletin / News Desk
China said on Thursday it had proposed a new initiative to head off an escalation of violence in Syria, including a phased, region-by-region ceasefire and the establishment of a transitional governing body.
The plan, proposed on Wednesday to Lakhdar Brahimi, the visiting United Nations-Arab League joint peace envoy on Syria, "is an extension of China's effort to push for a political resolution of the Syrian issue", a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
The 19-month-old revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claimed at least six more lives on Wednesday in a bomb blast, state media and opposition activists said.
That followed the collapse of the latest ceasefire proposal, brokered by Brahimi in an effort to stop the fighting over the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.
The conflict has left an estimated 32,000 dead.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular news briefing that under Beijing's "new proposal there are constructive new suggestions such as a ceasefire region by region and phase by phase, and establishing a transitional governing body".
Brahimi met on Wednesday with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi who said the world should act with greater urgency to support Brahimi's mediation efforts.
"More and more countries have come to realise that a military option offers no way out, and a political settlement has become an increasingly shared aspiration," Hong said.
"China's new proposal is aimed at building international consensus and supporting Brahimi's mediation efforts ... and push forward for relevant parties in Syria to realise an early ceasefire and end of violence, and launch a political transition process led by the Syrian people at an early date."
China and Russia, both permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, have vetoed three Western-backed U.N. draft resolutions condemning Assad's government for the violence.
But China has been keen to show it is not taking sides and has urged the Syrian government to talk to the opposition and take steps to meet demands for political change.Last Mod: 01 Kasım 2012, 14:49