Condemnation from the UN has done little to alter the course of events in Syria. The latest amateur video appears to show the crackdown on rebels in Homs continuing, despite the recent vote by the UN General Assembly calling on President Bashar al Assad to stop the violence.
China and Russia opposed the resolution, now Beijing has begun a diplomatic drive to end the bloodshed. It has sent an envoy to Damascus for talks with Assad and opposition figures. China opposes sanctions and foreign intervention, but
Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun gave few clues as to what proposals he would be making.
On the streets of the capital people seemed to be hoping for, rather expecting a breakthrough. One man said: “I hope his visit will help begin dialogue in Syria. We need dialogue, and China will help us open dialogue,”
Another said: “he will bring hope to Syria, and help us with our problems. This is my hope. I hope he will be impartial as a mediator..”
Assad, who says the rebels are foreign-backed terrorists, has offered a referendum on a new constitution and eventual multi-party elections.
But with thousands already dead, the opposition and many in the West, do not believe him.
Syrian state TV claimed that China supported the president’s referendum and election proposals.