China on Thursday called on Turkey and Syria to show restraint and respect each other's sovereignty, according to state media, following Ankara's decision to authorise military action against its neighbour. Turkey's parliamentary vote came as it retaliated for Wednesday's shelling that killed five Turkish nationals, and Syria apologised and vowed it would not happen again.
"The Chinese side always holds that sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected between countries," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying.
"We appeal to all relevant sides including Turkey and Syria to exercise restraint and refrain from taking any action that will escalate tensions in order to maintain peace and stability in the region," Hong added.
China has repeatedly called for dialogue and efforts by the United Nations to resolve the crisis in Syria, but last month stated it supported a political transition and was not attached to President Bashar al-Assad. Beijing has also joined Russia to repeatedly use their vetoes to scuttle UN Security Council resolutions aimed at tackling the deadly conflict, putting them at odds with fellow permanent members like the United States.