New Syria Peace Plan Comes from China

JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images(BEIJING) -- China has decided it too wants a shot at trying to find a solution to the 19-month long conflict in Syria between government and rebel forces that shows no signs of ending.

On his visit to Beijing Thursday, United Nations and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi was presented with a Chinese plan that would begin with a phased-in ceasefire coupled with a transitional authority that runs the country until a permanent regime is created.

Chinese leaders also recommended that the international community step up and deal with the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria as Damascus, Aleppo and other cities remain under siege.

While this sort of framework to end the long civil war has been proposed before, it is significant for Beijing to offer a plan since it, along with Moscow, have remained steadfast allies of President Bashar al-Assad.

However, with al-Assad having lost favor with most Middle East states -- Iran being the exception -- China seems to be taking a pragmatic long view of how its support for the current Syrian regime could affect relations with other countries going forward.

Nonetheless, the plan from China’s Foreign Ministry does not call for al-Assad's removal, something the West and Arab governments have demanded if the bloody conflict is to really come to an end. 

Since March 2011, it's believed as many as 35,000 people have died because of war-related violence with countless others also having been displaced.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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