US urges China for strong UN action on Syria: official

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged China to back a strong UN Security Council resolution on Syria when she met Monday with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, a senior US official said.

Their conversation “had to do with the need for a strong UN Security Council resolution that calls for the violence to end,” the senior US State Department official told reporters on the condition of anonymity.

“I think it’s fair to say that foreign minister Yang understood and supported the notion of the Security Council taking further action and they agreed to have our ambassadors work on this in the coming days,” the official said.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, US President Barack Obama called for UN Security Council sanctions on Syria, saying there was no excuse for inaction when people were being tortured and murdered by their government.

But US officials said Clinton’s conversation with Yang was more general than the issue of sanctions.

America’s western allies have joined Washington in imposing sanctions against Syria, but Russia and China have opposed attempts to frame a sanctions regime in the Security Council and threatened to veto any such resolution.

China, Russia, the United States, Britain and France make up the five veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council.