China condemns Syria chemical attack, supports investigation

AP News
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Posted: Apr 07, 2017 5:40 AM

BEIJING (AP) — China has condemned this week's deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria and says it supports an independent investigation under the United Nations.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Friday that China opposed the use of chemical weapons by any party under any circumstances.

"We condemn the recent chemical attack in Syria, and we support the independent and comprehensive investigation conducted by the relevant U.N. agencies into ... the use or suspected use of chemical weapons so as to reach a conclusion that stands the test of history and facts on the basis of solid evidence," Hua said.

"We have noted the latest developments. What is urgent now is to prevent the situation from deteriorating and uphold the hard-won political process to settle the Syrian issue," she said, without directly mentioning U.S. missile strikes in response to the attack.

Hua did not assign blame for the attack that killed more than 80 people, or mention Syrian leader Bashar Assad.

China has sided with Russia at the United Nations in opposing condemnation of Assad's regime but has not become directly involved in the conflict.

The U.S. missile strikes on Syria before dawn Friday were expected to overshadow the second day of talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) on Friday.