China joined Russia in its opposition against military strikes on Syria ahead of the G20 summit on Thursday. Beijing said the use of force would cause a swing in oil prices, thereby hurting the global economy.
“Military action would have a negative impact on the global economy, especially on the oil price – it will cause a hike in the oil price,” China’s vice finance minister, Zhu Guangyao, said at a pre-G20 briefing in St. Petersburg.
The remark was echoed by other members of the BRICS bloc, Reuters reported. Aside from China, the bloc consists of emerging economies including Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa.
Beijing and Moscow have a “very similar position” on the use of force against the Syrian government, spokesman for the Chinese delegation at the G20, Qin Gang, told RT.
Both nations are “appealing to the countries concerned, to be serious about the possible consequences on the use of military means without the mandate of the UN Security Council,” he said.
“The facts have shown in recent years that military means can’t solve a complicated issue like Syria. On the other hand, military means may cause even more serious humanitarian problems in the region,” Qin explained.
According to Qin, China’s leadership views a “political consultation” as the only way out of the “tragic situation” in Syria, where the country’s civil war has taken over 100,000 lives over the past two-and-a-half years.
“China is against the use of chemical weapons by any countries, any organizations or any individuals,” Qin said. “And given what’s reported, we believe that it’s very important for the UN to conduct the investigation. Any movement has to be based on the conclusion of the investigation, which should be free from any pressure or disturbances.”
China has spoken out against military action despite being briefed by the US on Monday regarding Washington’s evidence that Assad’s forces were behind a chemical weapons attack which took place on August 21.
Russia’s ex-finance minister, Sergey Kudrin, has echoed China’s concerns regarding a strike on Syria, saying that “any use of force in there increases risks for the global economy.”