China rejected the idea Thursday that more sanctions would pressure Iran to give up its nuclear program.
Instead, greater diplomatic efforts are called for, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters at a regularly scheduled news conference, reiterating a long-held stance.
The comments came a day after President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia - which like China has backed limited sanctions against Iran, but opposed tougher measures - opened the door to supporting further sanctions.
That potentially could bring a shift in China's position, since Beijing usually follows Moscow's approach on such matters, although it was still too early to say. Foreign Ministry spokespeople generally stick to prepared answers in answering questions from reporters, and true changes in China's position can be difficult to detect.
The maneuvering comes ahead an Oct. 1 meeting of diplomats from Iran, the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany on Tehran's nuclear program.