Russia, China agree on Syria, North Korea: Chinese minister

MOSCOW Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:20pm EDT

MOSCOW (Reuters) - China and Russia agree entirely with each other's positions on the crisis in Syria and on North Korea's nuclear program, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said on Saturday in Moscow.

"The sides hold 100 percent coinciding positions on the issues of North Korea and Syria," Cheng, who was accompanying Vice Premier Li Keqiang on a visit to Russia, told reporters through an interpreter.

Russia and China have protected Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by blocking two U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning a government crackdown in which the United Nations says 9,000 people have been killed since March 2011.

While publicly opposing foreign interference and particularly military intervention in Syria, they have both backed U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan in Security Council votes and urged the government and rebels to adhere to a ceasefire.

China and Russia criticized North Korea's defiant launch of long-range rocket this month, but both called for restraint.

The two veto-wielding permanent U.N. Security Council members use their clout to blunt U.S. power, advocating what they call a "multipolar" world rather than one dominated by any single country.

At the same time, they compete for influence in former Soviet Central Asia and struggle to hash out differences over energy supplies despite an apparent natural fit between Russia and the world's fastest growing energy consumer.

Li, who is on track to succeed Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao later this year, met on Friday with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who will be inaugurated to a six-year presidential term on May 7.

(Reporting by Gleb Bryanski; Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Louise Ireland)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (7)
mils54 wrote:
There’s a time to blunt the West and there’s a time to act like leading powers in the world to potentially save thousands of lives. These two countries alway’s fall short of that ideal in my view. Too bad we can’t seem to find a way to earn their trust and work together despite our different views.

Apr 28, 2012 3:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TPicking44 wrote:
“The sides hold 100 percent coinciding positions on the issues of North Korea and Syria,”

A nonsense comment like that would be pretty much meaningless coming from most world governments (including the US), but China is in a class all its own when it comes to meaningless/untruthful statements. They could justify making a comment like that if the two delegates merely agreed on where to eat lunch while they discussed the issues. (Truth from the Chinese government is like using a Playdoh factory – you can put in any shape and any color you want, but when you squeeze the handle, it comes out looking like anything you want it to.)

Apr 28, 2012 5:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
evenhead wrote:
On Syria I understand Russia’s stance, Russia supplies a lot of weapons to Syria and has a naval port there, they don’t want to lose that. But I don’t understand China’s stance on Syria, maybe they’re just being difficult to piss off the US. But on N Korea I understand China’s stance, N Korea acts as a buffer between them and the US plus keeping the Kim gov’t in power means they don’t have to worry about a humanitarian disaster (yet).

Apr 28, 2012 7:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.