BEIJING - China hopes talks with a Syrian government envoy and a proposed visit by opposition representatives will help rescue chances for a brokered solution to their deepening conflict, Beijing's top state newspaper said on Wednesday.
The People's Daily, the official newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party, warned that the civil war risked tipping into a dangerous new phase. The warning came after Syrian government envoy, Bouthaina Shaaban, arrived in Beijing for talks about the crisis engulfing President Bashar al-Assad..
So far, Chinese media have not given any reports about Shaaban's talks. But a commentary in the People's Daily cast her visit as part of Beijing's efforts to rescue hopes for a negotiated end to the conflict.
"Delaying a political solution to the Syrian issue will push the country into even more violent civil war and exacerbate disorder in the Middle East," said the paper, which generally reflects government thinking.
"At this critical moment, China has invited the special envoy of the Syrian president to visit China, and is also considering soon inviting Syrian opposition organizations to visit," said the commentary.
"This is China's latest diplomatic effort to promote a political solution to the Syrian issue."