Cooperation on Syria

Updated: 2013-12-25 07:12

(China Daily)

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China has always supported the United Nations' endeavor to dispose of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile, and it will, along with the international community, continue to give assistance within its capacity, said an opinion article in People's Daily on Tuesday.

With Russia's proposal of "chemical weapons for peace" a glimmer of hope for a political resolution to the Syria crisis emerged. Now that the framework of an agreement for destroying Syria's chemical weapons has been agreed upon, the task will be carried out in the safest way and within the shortest time.

In September, the UN Security Council and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons separately passed resolutions and plans demanding Syria's chemical weapons stockpile be destroyed before June 2014.

For the first time in its history, the OPCW has permitted the shipment of chemical weapons for overseas destruction, which removes the legal predicaments for international cooperation over the destruction of chemical weapons in international waters.

According to the plan of the OPCW, Denmark and Norway will provide vessels for the transportation of the chemicals, countries including Finland and Russia have also pledged help, and the United States will provide facilities and pay for the neutralization of priority chemicals onboard one of its own vessels at sea.

China, along with Russia, will provide escort ships for the transportation of Syria's chemicals. As a permanent member of the UNSC and a member of the OPCW Executive Council, China took the first opportunity to recommend 10 experts who are capable of supervising the destruction work to the OPCW.

At present, two experts from the Chinese military have completed their training and are ready to be dispatched to Syria. The Chinese Navy, responsible for escorting the transportation from Syria to Italy, will make its debut in the Mediterranean soon.

China hopes the destruction of Syria's chemicals will be carried out smoothly and safely, as it serves the interests of all parties.

The significance of destroying Syria's chemical weapons has gone beyond the disarmament of conventional chemical weapons, as it can serve as a barometer for pushing for the Syria crisis to be resolved through diplomatic means, as well as contribute to regional peace and stability.

That the international community has responded promptly and enthusiastically, pledging support in various forms for the destruction of Syria's chemicals, is meaningful exploration in resolving security issues through international cooperation and within multilateral frameworks.

(China Daily 12/25/2013 page8)