Thursday, June 5, 2014, 16:28
Xi announces US$ 16 million in aid for Syria
By Agencies

 Xi announces US$ 16 million in aid for Syria
Syrians wave their national flag and hold pictures of re-elected Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after as they celebrate in Damascus after he was announced as the winner of the country's presidential elections on June 4, 2014. (Photo by Joseph Eid / AFP)

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping repeated on Thursday a call for a political resolution to the Syrian crisis and his country's support for an inclusive political transition on Thursday, and offered to boost aid for Syrian refugees.

He also offered US$16 million in humanitarian assistance for refugees from the conflict in Syria as part of its growing engagement with the Arab world.

President Xi Jinping said Thursday that the assistance would go to displaced Syrians sheltering in neighboring countries, including Jordan and Lebanon.

He also announced nearly US$10 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority.

China and its ally, Russia, have both vetoed Western efforts to set UN penalties on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. China has also said a transitional government should be formed.

"China respects the reasonable demands of the Syrian people, and supports the early adoption of the Geneva communique and the opening of an inclusive political process to bring about a political resolution to the Syrian issue," Xi told a China-Arab forum in Beijing, in a speech broadcast live on state television.

The first round of Syria peace talks in Geneva in 2012 stipulated the establishment of a transition government, though subsequent peace talks have floundered.

Assad won a landslide victory in a wartime election on Tuesday that opponents condemned as a sham, but which demonstrated his tenacious hold on power after three years of brutal civil war.

China is paying great attention to the humanitarian situation of the Syrian people, and would give further aid to refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, Xi added, but gave no details.

China has consistently urged a political resolution for Syria and opposed the use of military force.