A Chinese diplomatic drive to end the bloodshed in Syria seems to have had little impact so far.
Opposition activists say the army opened fire to break up a protest in Damascus, killing at least one person. It happened after the funerals of three youths killed in a demonstration yesteday.
The shooting came as a Chinese envoy met with Bashar al Assad elsewhere in the capital. Zhai Jun, who was also expected to meet opponents of the president has called on both sides to stop the violence.
The diplomat gave no details of any new peace initiative. But he did give his backing to Assad’s plan for a referendum on a new constitution and plans for multi-party elections.
The opposition has rejected the moves, and its scepticism is shared by Western leaders. China and Russia, however, remain opposed to calls at the UN for sanctions and the intervention of a peacekeeping force. With the international community at loggerheads, the violence looks set to continue.