07 May '12, 9am

China hopes Syria elections will help reform

BEIJING: China said Monday it hoped parliamentary elections being held in Syria would help promote reform in the conflict-torn country, as the leader of the nation's opposition visited Beijing. Syria is currently holding its first "multiparty" parliamentary elections in five decades, but the polls have been dismissed as a sham by the main opposition forces, which have refused to participate. "We hope this will help promote Syria's reform process and respond to the reasonable requests of the Syrian people for the protection of their interests," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters. His comments came as Burhan Ghalioun, head of the opposition Syrian National Council, visited China. He is due to meet foreign ministry officials on his trip, which ends Wednesday, but no other information has been released so far. China has traditionally backed Syrian President Bas...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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