The situation is growing worse in Syria by the day. Although there has been much discussion on the raging civil war, some aspects of the conflict have been left untouched. The role of Russia, which is criminal to say the least, has been shred apart by many commentators. One thing is missing from the discussion though. What about China?
The Chinese have vetoed the UN resolutions as many times as their Russian counterparts. China, like Russia, is blocking the international efforts to bring peace to Syria. Why, then, is there no censure of China in the international media?
China is as much responsible for the carnage in Syria as Russia. Both China and Russia can empathize with the Syrian regime as they have an abysmal human rights record of their own. The Chinese have aided and abetted the Syrian regime — along with the Russians — to continue killing its own citizens. While China's help is largely diplomatic, Russia is also arming the killing machines run by Bashar al-Assad. The diplomatic backing, alone, was enough to stall the peace plan put forward by the United Nations and spearheaded by its former secretary general. Now that Kofi Annan has resigned, any chances of a peaceful solution to Syrian conflict have diminished. And China is responsible for it.
The Chinese are making a huge mistake in siding with the Assad regime. First, they are hedging their bets on a losing horse. Second, they are losing favor with the Arab states that supply a large chunk of oil to China (the country is also building a massive refinery in Saudi Arabia ). Thousands of Chinese workers are employed in the Gulf. China has bagged contracts worth billions of dollars to construct buildings, airport terminals and other infrastructure in the region. Can it afford to lose its investment and welcome back thousands of expatriates?
The role of the Arab states is no exemplary either. They have failed to use their financial might to get China and Russia onboard. Russia is only a shadow of its past and the brutally capitalistic policies of Kremlin do not match well with the line Moscow has taken on Syria. The lure of a multi-billion dollar investment deal with any Gulf state will be enough to wean Russia off its current stance. At the end of the day, the arms sales to Syria would only be a fraction of the monetary benefits Moscow can get from entering into a trade pact with the GCC states.
That is unlikely to happen though, and largely because of the archetypal inefficiency of the GCC states. While Iran is channeling its resources towards Damascus and is hell-bent on doing everything to empower Assad (even hosting a farce in the name of a conference on Syria), the GCC states are sitting idly; with the exception of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which decided to arm the rebels.
The Guardian reported recently that there has been little, if any, actual help to the Free Syrian Army fighters, who are running out of ammunition. The withdrawal from Aleppo is attributed to the meager ammunition that was unable to sustain a full-fledge ground and air assault. All things considered, the balance of power and ammunition heavily tilts towards the government forces. Still, the rebels have struck a debilitating blow to Assad's military.
The world can hasten the demise of the oppressive regime by strengthening the Free Syrian Army. Otherwise, the state-sanctioned massacre in Syria will continue unabated as the rebels will run out of ammunition, and the use of chemical weapons will seal the fate of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.
The international community has to stop that from happening and the time to act is now. China and Russia cannot afford getting isolated internationally. The world needs to remind them that their stance on Syria is flawed and will bring huge monetary and diplomatic losses. And the Arab states have to take that first step.