China backs Russian proposal for Syria to hand over chemical weapons

China said on Tuesday that it welcomes and supports Russia's proposal that Syria hand over its chemical weapons for destruction, which could avert planned US military strikes.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the comments at a regular news briefing, adding that a Syrian opposition delegation was visiting China from Tuesday.
US President Barack Obama has argued that Syrian President Bashar Assad, fighting to continue his family's four-decade rule, must be punished for what Washington says was a poison gas attack on rebel areas that killed over 1,400 people on Aug. 21.
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