China Presents a Four-Point Proposal For Resolving the Civil War in Syria BEIRUT, Lebanon â€” China unveiled a vague four-point peace plan for Syria on Thursday that called for a cease-fire in stages and a political transition to end the conflict..... The plan lacked crucial specific details, however, like what role President Bashar al-Assad of Syria would play in any transition. China has been one of his main international backers since the uprising started in March 2011. But the fact that Chinaâ€™s announcement came one day after the United States made it clear that the Syrian opposition needed new leadership underscored a subtle shift in international attitudes toward resolving the conflict....... But there have been subtle hints that alternate possibilities are not being rejected out of hand. In Syria, for example, a columnist in the state-controlled newspaper Al Thawra suggested on Wednesday that room exists for further efforts, while reiterating the government position that outside plots led to the cease-fireâ€™s failure. It praised the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, for saying at a recent news conference that he would speak to all political parties involved. â€œThat is the first necessary step for anyone really and earnestly seeking a political solution,â€ the columnist, Assad Abboud, wrote. â€œSanctions, boycotts, and laying siege to one party in an attempt to strengthen another leave no objective chance for political action that seeks a solution.â€ There is also public opinion to take into account. Activists note that the Syrian public is exhausted by the conflict, and increasingly annoyed by fighters on both sides............. â€œIf we want to be honest, weâ€™re waiting for a truce, we want to negotiate for him to leave,â€ he added, referring to President Assad. China has long stood behind Moscow in supporting Damascus, also vetoing three Security Council resolutions meant to address the conflict...................... A cease-fire should be carried out â€œby district and in stages,â€ the proposal said without elaborating, with the final goal an end to all fighting. Government institutions, it said, should continue to function, while the parties to the conflict identify members of negotiating bodies to participate in the transition process. â€œFor China to bring up this proposal now is to bring the global community together, cooperate with Brahimiâ€™s mediation efforts and push on the political resolution process and realize the cease-fire as soon as possible,â€ Hong Lei, the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, told reporters. But diplomats who had seen the proposal said it left out as much as it contained. It did not address the utter failure of the last cease-fire, for example, nor suggest any kind of timetable........................... Full Report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/world/middleeast/syria.html?_r=0 ***************************** Syria is burning. There is no doubt that there are outside forces playing their role in the conflict. Only vague and unsuccessful plans are being put forth and which always fail. Are their vested interests, international and domestic at play? Is it the historical Sunni Shia conflict duly abetted by foreign interests? Is there any solution?