China urges Syria to "avoid bloodshed"
China on Thursday urged the Syrian government and opposition groups to "avoid bloodshed" and resolve differences through political dialogue, DPA reported.
"Syria is an important country in the Middle East," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters.
"We expect the country to maintain stability and urge related parties to iron out differences through political dialogue and avoid bloodshed," Jiang said.
She said China believed that "outside forces should not intervene in Syria's internal issues so as to avoid complicating the situation."
Activists said at least 20 people were killed by government troops in Syria's Homs and Daraa areas on Wednesday.
Troops have maintained a presence in several cities amid ongoing anti-government protests, in which thousands have been calling for greater freedoms and the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.
Protests inspired by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt have been taking place in Syria since mid-March.
The website Syrian Martyrs has released the names of 757 people, including protesters, soldiers and security officers, its organizers say have been killed since the protests began.
China's ruling Communist Party has detained, threatened or placed under house arrest scores of dissidents and rights activists since calls in February for peaceful protests similar to those in Egypt and Tunisia.