BEIJING (Reuters) - The head of the Western-backed opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) will visit China this week, as Beijing seeks to deepen ties with all sides in the conflict to help bring about a peaceful resolution.
SNC president Khaled Khoja will be in China from Tuesday to Friday will meet Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing on Monday.
China has repeatedly called for a political resolution and warned that military action cannot end the crisis. Khoja’s visit comes two weeks after Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem visited China.
Hua said that Wang would meet Khoja “to promote a political settlement of the Syrian issue”.
“We believe that the future of Syria should be decided by the people of Syria, so China is now doing everything to move the Syrian issue along on the correct path of political dialogue as quickly as possible,” Hua said.
“China’s position has received high appreciation and affirmation from the international community, particularly the Syrian people.”
While relying on the region for oil supplies, China has tended to leave Middle Eastern diplomacy to the other five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - the United States, Britain, France and Russia.
Hua urged all parties “to work together to fight terrorism and push for a ceasefire in Syria”.
Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Nick Macfie