China has refused to criticize Iran by name for the attack on British diplomatic compounds in Tehran but says the dignity of diplomatic missions should be protected.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei refused Wednesday to mention Iran when asked for comment on the attack.
Hong would say only that "China always maintains that the security and dignity of diplomats and diplomatic institutions should be safeguarded and protected."
He said "the relevant action runs counter to international law and basic norms of international relations and should be handled appropriately."
Hard-line Iranian protesters stormed the British compounds Tuesday. They hauled down the British flag, torched an embassy vehicle and pelted buildings with petrol bombs.