China will not protect Syrian government: Wen

China and Russia have faced criticism for blocking a UN resolution condemning the bloody crackdown in Syria.

Beijing: China will not protect the regime of
Syria`s President Bashar al-Assad, Premier Wen Jiabao said
today, after Beijing drew international ire for vetoing a UN
resolution on the country.

Wen`s comments, during an EU-China summit, came after the
United Nations` top human rights representative said the world
body`s inaction had "emboldened" the Syrian government to use
overwhelming force against its own civilians.

"China will absolutely not protect any party, including
the government in Syria," Wen told reporters in Beijing.

He added that the priority now was to "prevent war and
chaos" in the violence-hit country.

China and Russia have faced a barrage of criticism for
blocking a UN Security Council resolution condemning the
bloody crackdown on protests in Syria, including from Arab
nations with which Beijing normally has good ties.

Syrian troops today battered Homs in some of the heaviest
shelling for days in the flashpoint city, a monitoring group
said, as the international community warned of a humanitarian

The United States called the rare double veto a
"travesty", while one Syrian opposition group said it had
handed Assad`s regime a "licence to kill".

Since the crackdown was launched less than a year ago,
more than 6,000 people have been killed, monitors say.