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At UN on Syria, Li Tells ICP China Will Not Accept "Subtext of Regime Change"

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, February 1 -- The day after the Syria Superbowl in the UN Security Council, China's Permanent Representative Li Baodong entered the chamber at 10:10 am on Wednesday. He stopped and spoke exclusively with Inner City Press, which asked about the most contested provision of what's called the Moroccan draft resolution, that Bashar al Assad transfer power to his deputy.

  Li Baodong said, "that's an indicatation of regime change. We do not want to see that kind of thing reflected in the draft."

  Inner City Press asked him about the speech by Russia's Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin, who used the word "hope" in connection with the Moroccan draft.

  But Li Baodong went back: "We support Churkin's proposal, draft." This refers to the draft that Russian put out, which UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant told the Press has been "overtaken" by the Moroccan draft. Li Baodong continued, with a smile: "But we also notice there's another draft on table. We hope we can work that out. It seems like the other side has started making concessions."

  He paused, then told Inner City Press, "Yesterday no one said they want to see regime change. So we want to see that be reflected in the draft."

What's in a word?

(c) UN Photo
Li Baodong and Ban Ki-moon, UN Photo lists only Mrs. Ban,
Yoo Soon-taek

  Inner City Press said, "China says concession have begun" to French Ambassador Gerard Araud, who did not respond. Later Li Baodong told Inner City Press he had a brief discussion with Gerard, who he called "flexible." (Again, when told by the Press, Araud had no response.)

  Li Baodong added that China will not accept even a "subtext" of regime change. Watch this site.

Footnote: Tuesday when Li Baodong started his speech, the assembly media at the stakeout outside could not hear it. The sound, which had been turned up for all previous speeches, was turned off in anticipation of an appearance at the microphone, as it turned out by France's Alain Juppe.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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