BEIJING - China opposes the use of force to resolve the crisis in Syria, where escalating violence has killed thousands of civilians, because it violates basic norms "guiding international relations", state news agency Xinhua said on Tuesday.
Arab and Western states urged the UN Security Council on Tuesday at act swiftly on a resolution calling for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step aside.
The United States strongly backed the call by the Arab League and Qatar for "rapid and decisive action", which came as Assad's government forces reasserted control of Damascus suburbs after beating back rebels at the gates of the capital.
"China is firmly opposed to the use of force to solve the Syrian problem and resolutely opposes pushing for forced regime change in Syria, as it violates the United Nations Charter and the basic norms guiding the practice of international relations," Xinhua quoted Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Li Baodong as saying to the Security Council.
The brief news report from Xinhua did not give other details.