Commentary: China's commitment to escorting Syrian chemical weapons transporation significant
                 English.news.cn | 2013-12-19 00:40:37 | Editor: Mu Xuequan

by Xinhua Writer Zheng Kaijun

BEIJING, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's commitment to providing escort for maritime transportation of Syria's chemical weapons for destruction in response to a call of the international community is a landmark development in favor of world peace and stability.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Tuesday welcomed China's contribution in this regard, after discussing a phase-by-phase plan on destroying all chemical weapons in Syria.

The plan aims to meet a deadline to dispose of the priority chemicals -- the most toxic ones, by the end of March 2014, and all other commodity chemicals by June in the same year.

It is after all a display of China's peace-loving nature as it joins hands with other countries in the escort mission, which is called upon and authorized by the United Nations and the OPCW, as the maritime transportation of the chemical weapons is a pivotal step before their final destruction -- a key groundwork needed for guaranteeing a peaceful exit out of the nearly-three-year-old plight in the conflict-torn Arab state.

To maintain peace and stability, China has stood as a mainstay force in preventing any external interference in the Syrian crisis.

Moreover, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi noted in late October that work on finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis and destroying the chemical weapons in the country should be carried out in parallel, and that Chinese experts had taken part in relevant work and China was willing to provide financial support in this regard.

Therefore, today, it makes sense that a responsible China does not hesitate in going in for such an endeavor.

At the same time, it becomes clearer that helping resolve a country's conflict needs harmonized and concerted actions from the international community. The joint escort mission and the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons just sets an example for that.

"It is a reflection of active participation of various states... and a successful example of international cooperation in joint trouble-shooting," said Chen Kai, secretary-general of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association.

According to the OPCW's plan, Denmark and Norway will provide vessels for the transportation of the chemicals, while countries like Finland and Russia also pledge help. The United States is to provide facilities and pay for the neutralization of priority chemicals onboard one of its own vessels at sea.

"The Chinese Navy, which has undertaken various escort missions in the Gulf of Aden, will be responsible for escorting the transportation from Syria to Italy, which is its debut in the Mediterranean," said Chen.

But the new waters won't be obstruction for a courageous and peace-loving navy, given that the mission will make the region and the world a safer place to live.

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