Chinese media has accused the US of spoiling for a fight with Syria after president Barack Obama warned Damascus that any use of chemical weapons would toughen America’s stance on the long-running crisis.
The official state media, Xinhua, said: “Once again, Western powers are digging deep for excuses to intervene militarily.”
The BBC’s Damian Grammaticas, reporting from Beijing, emphasised that while this was not an official statement, it does indicate that China’s leaders are concerned that the West is looking for an excuse to force through regime change in Syria.
China's concerns were echoed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on Wednesday, when it tweeted: “The Western partners are inciting the Syrian opposition to continue their armed struggle. This is not the way to resolve the crisis#Syria.”
It also posted a message accusing the West of side-stepping efforts to implement a ceasefire.
It wrote: “The Western partners have refused even to discuss adopting the statement by the Action Group for Syria urging all sides to cease hostilities.”
The Action Group for Syria said: “All parties must re-commit to a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms and implementation of the six-point plan immediately and without waiting for the actions of others.”
Forty-three people were killed in Damascus by government troops on Wednesday, including 24 executed in front of their families, according to The Guardian.