China’s recent exercise of its veto of the U.N. draft resolution on intervention in Syria triggered “dramatically high attention” from the international community: some clapped cheerfully while others were furious with anger. The Middle East media acknowledged that China has played a positive role for world peace and stability by saying “NO” to “Western intervention.” The Syrian side “appreciated the voice of the wise.” On the other hand, Western powers such as the United States, Germany, France, and Britain have shown hostility toward China and Russia over their veto. The British government said that Russia and China “must be responsible for the consequences of violence in Syria from now on.” The U.S. repeatedly reprimanded Russia and China for exercising their veto. In her public speech, Secretary of State Hillary even accused China and Russia of “not being able to stand with peaceful demonstrators” and that China and Russia must offer an explanation to “those who fight for freedom and human rights.”
Why ask Beijing to give an explanation? How come Secretary of State Hillary does not understand China’s position on this issue? Her inflammatory words are just a venting of her anger toward Beijing. China’s veto restricted “Western interventionism,” and made it impossible for the U.S.’s newly hatched Middle East plan to be carried out “naturally” and “rationally.” How could the iron woman, Hillary, not be angry?
Then why, indeed, did China cast its veto vote? Why, on such a rare occasion, did China exercise its veto on the Syria issue in which it has no particular interest? Is it out of its short-term interests or to challenge the Western hegemony and begin to implement “big and profound” strategic considerations in reshaping a new international security, political, and economic order?
The international media are fully aware that China’s exercise of its veto was an obvious attempt to override “Western interventionism.” The goals that China wanted to achieve, specifically, were to prevent the West from imposing possible military sanctions on Syria, to obstruct the legalization of the West’s deployment and implementation of military operations in the Middle East, and to contain the West’s barbaric practice of using military means to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs. Western media have used the close relationship between Beijing and Damascus to explain the veto. That was just “using a mean person’s narrow mind to gauge the heart of a gentleman.” For China, it is more important to maintain the stability of the Middle East than to protect its own interests in Syria and the Middle Eastern region. China’s veto is a counter-attack against American unilateralism and a beautiful debut for China’s pursuit of a new international order.
Exercising its veto power is also a signal that China is sending to the world: Regarding major issues that matter for global stability and development, China will firmly adhere to its own principles and positions. China’s diplomacy is becoming mature and self-confident. The veto not only succeeded in stalling “Western interventionism,” but also convinced international public opinion of China’s resolve in keeping the West at bay.” The “Chinese face” will no longer be murky and unclear. “China advocacy” and the “Chinese position” will be active forces in the world’s political arena. By vetoing instead of abstaining, Beijing is telling the world that China is a responsible power, a trustworthy friend, and an active force that is not negligible in maintaining global security and stability and peaceful development.
The veto that China cast also sends a warning to the West: The shameful behavior of the West willfully trampling on other countries’ sovereignty and interfering in their internal affairs is close to an end. The atrocity in which NATO aimed cannons at a legitimate government and sovereign state using all kinds of excuses should be over.
The veto is an opposition, but China did not oppose for the sake of opposing. China does not hold high the banner of being anti-American or anti-West. What China opposes is the bluff and bluster of Western power politics and hegemonic ideas of blind self-confidence. China cannot accept the exploitive behavior of using guns to force other countries to implement democracy. China’s intention is not to compete with the West, but to use its influence to tell the West that they can no longer use military means to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries. Although “the extraordinary act” of China exercising its right to cast a veto cannot be separated from the background of the current Western political and economic quagmire, China has already realized that a new opportunity to use Chinese diplomacy has arrived. China should have the verve, ability, and courage to maintain world peace.
 International Herald Leader, “To Begin Intervening in ‘Western Interventionism,’” October 18, 2011.