SHANGHAI - Western diplomats are to blame for the failure of the latest UN Security Council resolution on Syria after they tried to ram through an imbalanced draft that did not put enough pressure on opposition groups, China's official Xinhua news agency said on Friday.

Russia and China voted down the Security Council resolution on Thursday, the third time the two countries have used their veto power to block resolutions designed to isolate Syrian President Bashar Assad and end the 16-month conflict that has killed thousands.

The draft threatened Syrian authorities with sanctions unless they halt violence against an uprising, and the dual veto drew immediate criticism from the United States, Britain and France, which all backed the resolution.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who visited Beijing earlier this week and discussed the issue with Chinese President Hu Jintao, said he was "deeply disappointed" by the Security Council vote on Thursday.

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