BEIJING - China responded cautiously on Thursday to a call by US President Barack Obama for a broad coalition to root out Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, saying the world should fight terror but that the sovereignty of countries must be respected.
Obama also told Americans on Wednesday that he had authorized US air strikes for the first time in Syria and more attacks in Iraq in an escalation of a campaign against Islamic State.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the world was facing a terror threat that was a "new challenge" to international cooperation.
"China opposes all forms of terrorism, and upholds that the international community must jointly cooperate to strike against terrorism, including supporting efforts by relevant countries to maintain domestic security and stability," Hua told a daily news briefing when asked about Obama's comments.
"At the same time, we also uphold that in the international fight against terrorism, international law should be respected and the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of relevant nations should also be respected," she added.