The Chinese Foreign Ministry today reiterated China’s support for political, rather than military, solutions for the ongoing civil war in Syria, following a U.S. missile attack on Thursday night on a Syrian government air base. At the ministry’s daily press conference, spokeswoman Hua Chunying 华春莹 notably declined to “criticize or condemn” the U.S. missile strike, which likely caught China off guard.
China has maintained a distanced and somewhat ambiguous position on the Syrian civil war since it began in 2011. The nation has voted with Russia six times at the UN to deny sanctions against the government of Bashar al-Assad, preferring to tout its “principle of non-interference” in internal affairs of foreign countries instead. Nevertheless, China stands out as one country that has maintained both an embassy in Damascus — many have shut down or relocated — and a significant trading relationship with Syria during its civil war.
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