Why does Russia vote the way it does in the Security Council of the United Nations in relation to Syria? Could it be that they are anxious to protect their only Mediterranean naval base located in Tartus? I’m sure this fact plus a great many skeletons in the closet from past activities based in Syria or in support of Syria over the decades contributes to their position. The total collapse of Syrian society would likely have an adverse effect on their naval operations in Tartus as well as the loss of a significant diplomatic investment accumulated over time. Of course they are reticent to back the overthrow of the al-Assad regime.
China is nothing if not consistent. They seem to vote against all measures critical of existing governments, irrespective of the atrocities in play. This is pure self interest and I’m guessing it is to telegraph the notion to an internal audience that rebellion is never acceptable. Pretty obvious, I suppose.