Xeno's strange news awards blog.
Until now China had kept a relatively low profile on the Syria issue, occasionally issuing veiled support for the Assad regime. That changed at today’s G-20 meeting in Russia, when China’s vice-finance minister Zhu Guangyao officially launched the Syrian axis of Russia and China, both of which now indirectly support the Assad regime, and oppose US-led military intervention. From the FT: “China warned on Thursday that military intervention in Syria would hurt the world economy and push up oil prices, reinforcing Vladimir Putin’s attempts to talk US President Barack Obama out of air strikes. “Military action would have a negative impact on the global economy, especially on the oil price – it will cause a hike in the oil price,” Chinese vice-finance minister Zhu Guangyao told a briefing before the start of the G20 leaders’ talks.”
This follows Obama’s humiliating backtracking on his “redline” statement from yesterday at Stockholm, which hardly won the punting president much allies in the “world”:
Mr Obama said that he had not set a “red line” over the use of chemical weapons in Syria, saying “the world set a red line”, a reference to a global treaty banning their use…. “We as a country and the world are going to have to take tough choices,” he said. Russia and China have made it clear they will veto action on Syria in the Security Council.
Perhaps Russia and China, two of the most important nations in the world, are not part of it according to the US president?
Indeed, the “world” will have enough opportunities to chime in during the 2 day summit, at which Syria will surely be the dominant topic….