China Concerned Over Possible Escalation in Syria, Calls for Restraint

China Concerned Over Possible Escalation in Syria, Calls for Restraint
REUTERS/ Bassam KhabiehMiddle East13:53 12.04.2018Get short URL

BEIJING (Sputnik) – China is concerned over the possible escalation of tensions in Syria after the alleged chemical attack in the city of Douma and calls on all parties involved to exercise restraint, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said on Thursday.

“China is highly concerned over the possible escalation of tensions in Syria, we have always been advocates of the peaceful settlement of disputes, and opposed the use of force and intimidation in international relations,” Geng said.

The diplomat noted that several days ago, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had met to exchange their positions on the current developments in Syria. The spokesman pointed out that China was in permanent contact with regional actors as well as the United States, Russia, and other permanent members of the UN Security Council.

READ MORE: Threat of Western Strike on Syria: What is Known So Far

“We are calling on all the relevant parties to exercise restraint and calm in order to be capable of de-escalating the situation in Syria as soon as possible,” Geng added.

Reports about the alleged attack in Douma, located in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, emerged on Saturday. The European Union and the United States have rushed to blame the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad for the incident, however, Damascus has refuted the allegations. Moscow has called for a thorough investigation into the alleged attack before drawing any conclusions.

READ MORE: US Strikes on Syria Would Be a Violation of UN Charter – Analyst

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said that Russia, which supports Assad, should “get ready,” since “nice” and “smart” missiles were due to strike Syria. At the same time, the US leader called on Russia to de-escalate tensions and stop the arms race.

Washington has repeatedly threatened to act on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Russia reacted stressing that Washington was spreading propaganda in an attempt to demonize the Syrian government and subsequently topple it, underscoring that the information on the chemical attacks used by the United States was uncorroborated. Damascus, in turn, has constantly denied being in possession of chemical weapons, the destruction of which had been confirmed by the OPCW report.