16 February 2012 Last updated at 06:55 ETSyrian army tanks at the entrance to the Baba Amr neighbourhood in Homs
China says it is sending a senior envoy to Syria to try to mediate an end to violence in the country.
Deputy Foreign Minister Zhai Jun will go to the capital, Damascus, on Friday.
China was widely criticised for vetoing a UN Security Council resolution urging Syria's leader to step down.
The UN General Assembly will vote later on an Arab-sponsored resolution condemning the Syrian government. Rights groups say some 7,000 civilians have been killed there since March.
The resolution also backs an Arab League plan calling for President Bashar al-Assad to hand power to his vice-president. The measure cannot be vetoed in the assembly, but the resolution would be non-binding.
Mr Zhai said on Thursday that China does not approve of armed intervention or forcing so-called "regime change" in Syria.
In an interview posted on the Chinese foreign ministry website, he condemned violence against civilians and called for the government to respect the people's "legitimate" desire for reform.
He also said sanctions or the threat of sanctions "are not conducive to the appropriate resolution of this issue".
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman would not say if Mr Zhai would also meet Syrian opposition representatives during the two-day visit.
Last week, Mr Zhai met a Syrian opposition delegation in Beijing.
In Syria itself, government forces are reported to have launched a new attack on the town of Deraa, a day after President Assad announced a referendum on a new constitution.
It follows major government offences against the cities of Hama and Homs.
Article Source : BBC News
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