Richard Weitz

In his latest piece for The Diplomat, Richard Weitz looks at China’s doubling down on Russia’s veto of the Syria Security Council resolution, and explains how it’s all about sovereignty for China—and the mission creep following the Libya intervention. In the terse Q&A that follows, Weitz tells The Diplomat very bluntly what happens next, and looks at what China might still do to help ease Assad out.

What is the best outcome now, in terms of leveraging Assad to stop using violence?

This option is no longer realistic. He has to leave.

How can China be involved to pressure Assad?

China won’t do that but might offer positive incentives for him to leave by helping him to find a safe haven in some third country.

Besides China, who is the next big influencer here?

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Turkey is the one country that has the interest and the capacity to remove Assad but it currently considers the action too risky—they might get sucked into a long civil war and insurgency and become more vulnerable to terrorist attacks.