iconimg Friday, September 04, 2015

Agence France-Presse
Beijing, September 10, 2013
China on Tuesday backed a Russian plan to head off threatened punitive US air strikes on Syria by destroying the regime's chemical weapons.

"We welcome and support the Russian side's suggestion," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a regular briefing in Beijing.

"As long as the suggestion is conducive to easing the current tension in Syria, solving the Syria issue politically and safeguarding peace and stability of Syria and the region, the international community should give positive consideration to it," he added.

Washington accuses Bashar al-Assad's forces of using chemical weapons to kill 1,429 people last month, and has been looking to build international momentum for a punitive strike.

Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov called on Damascus to "place the chemical weapons under international control and then have them destroyed".

US President Barack Obama has said the idea could be a "significant breakthrough".

China is a veto-wielding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and over the course of the conflict it has joined with Russia, a fellow veto-holder, to block resolutions supported by Washington and its allies.

Beijing regularly calls for a "political solution" to the crisis in Syria.