China has renewed its demand for the exit of U.S. troops from Syria, because of the illegality of their presence. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian stressed that it is “appalling to see the sheer scale of U.S. looting in Syria that has been going on at a time when the country is trying to get out of a crisis that has lasted for more than a decade, and a serious humanitarian crisis facing its people.”
“U.S. forces control oil, natural gas, and other state resources. They continue to occupy key oil fields, loot over 80 percent of the country’s oil production and burn Syria’s wheat stockpiles. They are exacerbating the humanitarian crisis there.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry stressed that “the United States of America should end its illegal military presence and operations in Syria, stop unilateral measures, and stop stealing oil and grain. It should return to the Syrian people their wealth, which is their right.”
China’s stance comes at a time when tensions between Washington and Beijing have been rising since the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s last visit to Taiwan last month. This also comes a few days after the United States announced a new $1.1 billion arms deal with Taiwan, aimed at strengthening its military defences against China.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned Washington’s continued interference in China’s internal affairs. It stressed its support for Beijing in defending its sovereignty and security and supporting the “One China Principle,” saying: “Syria continuously, absolutely and indefinitely supports China’s efforts and principled positions in the face of attempts at external interference in its internal affairs, whether in Taiwan, Hong Kong or Xinjiang,” stressing China’s “non-negotiable right to take whatever measures and steps it decides to protect and safeguard its sovereignty.”
China announced in June that “the U.S. presence in northeastern Syria is illegitimate and comes under the pretext of helping the SDF eliminate the threat of ISIS.” It added: “The U.S. military controls the largest oil and gas fields in Syria and exports oil to its bases in Iraq for more than five years.”
Observers point out that the Chinese request to withdraw U.S. troops increases the pressure on the United States from the guarantors of the ceasefire in Syria, (Russia, Iran, Turkey) within the framework of Astana. In addition, China’s interest meets with Iran and Russia in Syria, especially since the U.S. strategy is currently focused on not leaving any vacuum in the Middle East that China may benefit from.
Since Syria’s eastern orientation, the value of imports of Chinese goods to Damascus has risen to about $700 million a year. This is a high number compared to the conditions to which the Syrian economy is exposed due to U.S. sanctions and the blockade imposed on the country.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.