Beijing has rejected criticism by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that China and Russia are hampering efforts to end the Syrian conflict by supporting President Bashar al-Assad.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said Saturday that Clinton’s comments are “totally unacceptable.”
He said China has wide support among members of the international community for its stance on Syria, and that any effort to slander China will fail.
At a Friday meeting in Paris of governments supporting Assad’s opponents, Clinton said it is “intolerable” that Russia and China continue to block a peaceful resolution of the Syria crisis by backing President Assad. She accused Russia and China of “holding up progress.”
Russia and China, both permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, have repeatedly vetoed tough Council action against Syria. Neither attended the conference in Paris. However, they have agreed to the authority of an eventual transitional governing body for the country.
China and Russia are Syria’s most powerful allies.
In another development Saturday, Lebanese officials say Syrian rocket fire killed three people and wounded at least nine others in villages in northern Lebanon.
Syrian rebels trying to overthrow Assad have used northern Lebanon as a base, and Syrian forces have carried out deadly cross-border raids into Lebanon, sparking fears the conflict could spread across into the country.
The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 50 people were killed Friday in anti-government related unrest.