Moscow and Beijing have been firmly opposing intervention in Syria, stressing the need for a diplomatic solution to the crisis. Middle East expert He Wenping says this is matter of principle.

He Wenping, of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, insists that Russia and China are defending the principle of state sovereignty. “Any regime change should be undertaken by the people in that country,” she told RT.

In addition to Russia, China is also trying to protect its geopolitical interests in the region, she admits. “Everybody knows that China heavily depends on the oil imports from the whole Middle East.”

The Syrian crisis is no longer a domestic issue as outside forces, reportedly including Al-Qaeda, have penetrated the opposition, she notes. “The so-called the Free Syrian Army now is no longer the pure Syrian people.”

The Syrians are not willing to listen to the opposition outside the country, He Wenping believes, noting that opposition groups at home are fighting for their rights separately from outside pressure.

He says that it is hard to believe US President Barack Obama when he says that there will be no military intervention in Syria. “At the very beginning of the Libyan war, we heard the same sayings coming from the White House, from NATO.”

The death toll in the Syrian conflict continues to climb, with the UN saying the as many as 8,000 have been killed. However, He warns that we should not trust these figures blindly as they are being reported by rebel forces. “The real picture is still not clear.”

He believes that so far, the situation in Syria seems to be favorable for President Bashar Al-Assad. “The situation on the ground is the determination factor for how long this regime will be there.”