(Photo Credit: Reuters)
China has repeated calls for the US to end its illegal military occupation of Syria and stop looting the country’s resources, stressing that its continued presence has worsened Syria’s humanitarian crisis.
“We call on the United States to sincerely respect the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of other countries and to immediately stop its illegal military presence and marauding in Syria,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said during a news conference on 11 March.
“The United States has illegally intervened in military activities related to the Syrian crisis, which has led to the death of a large number of innocent civilians and a serious humanitarian disaster,” Mao added before calling on US officials to lift crushing economic sanctions on Syria.
Beijing’s call came just two days after US lawmakers voted against a War Powers Resolution that called for withdrawing troops from Syria.
Around 900 US troops are currently deployed in the Levantine nation, controlling nearly a third of the country and a large portion of its oil fields. Their deployment is illegal under international law as it was not approved by the government in Damascus.
This is not the first time Beijing has bashed Washington’s illegal presence in Syria. Back in January, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Syria’s energy crisis and humanitarian disaster are a result of the US and its proxy militias plundering its resources.
“US stationing troops in Syria is illegal. US smuggling oil and grain from Syria is illegal. US missile attacks against Syria are also illegal,” he said then.
A year ago, Chinese and Syrian officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) welcoming Damascus into the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Launched nine years ago, the BRI is a mega-infrastructure project that seeks to bring capital and infrastructure to Global South countries while dramatically strengthening connectivity for commerce, finance, and culture.
China was among the first nations to send aid to Syria following last month’s devastating earthquake when aid deliveries from the west were being held up due to US sanctions.