China 'opposed to the use of force' against Syria after US-led strikes

Syria air defences strike back after air strikes by US, British and French forces in Damascus, Syria, on April 14, 2018.
Syria air defences strike back after air strikes by US, British and French forces in Damascus, Syria, on April 14, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - China said on Saturday (April 14) it was "opposed to the use of force" following United States-led air strikes against Syria and called for a "return to the framework of international law".

"We consistently oppose the use of force in international relations, and advocate respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries," foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said in a statement on its website.

Ms Hua said unilateral military action bypassing the United Nations Security Council would "add new complicating factors to the resolution of the Syrian issue".

"China believes that a political solution is the only realistic way out for the Syrian issue," she added.

"China urges all the relevant parties to return to the framework of international law and to resolve the issue through dialogue and consultation."

China is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Beijing has consistently said the Syrian crisis needs a "political solution" but has numerous times vetoed Security Council measures aimed at addressing the conflict - including an investigation of war crimes in the country.