China’s top newspaper published an article on Tuesday, accusing both the U.S. and Russia of playing Cold War games with their military actions in Syria.
The People’s Daily, the official newspaper of Beijing’s ruling Communist Party, accused Washington and Moscow of using Syria as a proxy for military and diplomatic competition, just like during the times of the Cold War.
The newspaper urged both sides to realize that the Cold War era is over and that they should engage in peace talks instead.
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“The United States and the Soviet Union used all sorts of diplomatic, economic and military actions on the soil of third countries, playing tit-for-tat games to increase their influence – it’s an old scene from the Cold War,” the newspaper noted in the article.
The paper reminds both the U.S. and Russia that we are in the 21st century, and that “people need to get their heads around this.”
At the end of September, Russia launched airstrikes in Syria targeting U.S.-trained rebels and ISIS militants. It must be noted that China most of the times votes alongside fellow permanent UN Security Council member Russia on the Syria matters, but Beijing is still concerned over foreign interference into Syria’s internal affairs.
However, China is reportedly taking part in the Syrian conflict as well. ValueWalk reported last week that Chinese warships were on their way to Syria, according to both Russian and Chinese military sources.
There have been also several reports of China’s deployment of its carrier-based fighter aircraft Shenyang J-15 in Syria.
Other reports have also indicated that a significant number of Chinese military advisers have already joined Russia’s personnel in the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regime’s stronghold Latakia province.
Western media created the gloomy reality in Syria – Chinese paper
The People’s Daily also said that nobody should stand by while the Syrian conflict spirals into a proxy war between the U.S. and Russia, and urged both sides to reach efforts for a peaceful solution of the conflict.
“The international community, especially large countries with much influence, must fully recognize the critical, urgent necessity to reach a political solution to the Syria issue,” the article said.
The article was published under the pen name “Zhong Sheng,” which translates from the Chinese language as “Voice of China,” and is frequently used to write opinion commentaries about foreign affairs.
The People’s Daily also noted that the U.S. and Russia have common interests in both Syria and the Middle East as a whole.
The long-drawn Syrian crisis gave birth to regional terrorist groups, which led to the growing number of refugees, and these are real challenges that the U.S. and Russia cannot ignore, the newspaper said.
The Chinese also advise Washington and Moscow to view Syria as the center of the conflict, and find a peaceful settlement of the crisis based on the actual state of things.
The newspaper notes that in the beginning of the Syrian crisis, the Western media created a “skewed image” of the “democratic awakening,” which did not correspond to the actual state of things. Moreover, it’s now rather absurd amid the gloomy reality, according to the paper.
The People’s Daily also cites Michael Williams, an expert at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, who noted in his article that the U.S. must help restore peace in Syria from the point of view of “scoring a point” in the Middle East.
As noted by U.S. National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981, Zbigniew Brzezinski, even a limited cooperation between Washington and Moscow can positively affect the geopolitical development of the Middle East.
Chinese media are hypocrites or in the dark?
The Chinese newspaper also said that international community, and particularly the world’s most influential countries, must fully realize the key necessity and urgency of political settlement of the Syrian crisis.
Both sides must also think about holding a peaceful conference Geneva-3 to settle the Syrian crisis, according to the paper. Such efforts would engage all sides of the conflict to participate without setting any preliminary conditions.
Syria has already seen the suffering of a large number of innocent people, and only a political settlement of the Syrian conflict corresponds with the interests of this country’s people, the People’s Daily concluded.
It must be noted the news that Beijing is sending its military ships to join the Russian military operation in Syria contradict pacifistic-oriented articles coming from top Chinese newspapers.
It means that either the Chinese media is in the dark about the actual state of things in China’s Middle Eastern policy, or Beijing ordered its media to keep assuring the world of China’s peaceful intentions.
The accusations of unleashing a new Cold War from the Chinese come amid reports that Washington is poised to deploy its military warships close to China’s disputed islands in the South China Sea.
The move is viewed as a signal from the U.S. that it is not going to recognize Beijing’s territorial claims over the islands.
The U.S. warships will sail inside the 12-nautical mile zones that China claims its territory around some of the disputed islands in the Spratly chain, according to a senior U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity with the Financial Times.
The anonymous official added that the warships will be deployed within the upcoming weeks. Amid the reports that China deploys it military ships to Syria, the move is likely to escalate tensions between Beijing and Washington.