China says Syria situation worsening, still opposes intervention

BEIJING Tue Sep 4, 2012 4:17am EDT

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Tuesday the situation in Syria was worsening but that it still opposed any outside armed intervention in the country, ahead of a visit to Beijing by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

A political solution remained the only way out for Syria, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a daily news briefing.

"We have always believed that the only correct path must be a political resolution to the crisis. Currently, the situation is worsening, but the worse the situation, the more unity is needed," Hong said.

He also repeated Chinese opposition to any the use of chemical weapons, while restating Chinese opposition to armed intervention in Syria.

"China adamantly opposes any country developing, manufacturing or using chemical weapons," Hong said.

"China opposes armed intervention over the Syria issue."

China has repeatedly condemned any plan which hints at outside interference in the Syrian crisis or any plan that would include "regime change".

Clinton is due in China later on Tuesday.

Both China and Russia have vetoed proposed U.N. Security Council resolutions intended to put pressure on President Bashar al-Assad.

In July, Clinton urged world powers to show Russia and China they would pay a price for impeding progress toward a democratic transition in Syria, prompting an angry rebuttal from Beijing.

(Reporting by Sabrina Mao and Chris Buckley; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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