China argues against unilateral US action against Syria, saying response must conform to UN

China is urging the U.S. not to take unilateral action against Syria in response to last month's chemical weapons attack against civilians.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Monday that Washington had briefed Beijing over the matter. Hong said China was highly concerned about any use of chemical weapons.

But he said China opposed the U.S. acting alone. Hong said any response must conform to the U.N. Charter and the basic principles underlying international relations.

China has joined Russia in blocking any U.N. action that could lead to the downfall of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.

The U.S. says the use of chemical weapons in Syria killed at least 1,429 civilians. The U.S. argues that Assad's government is responsible, while others say the evidence is not clear.