BEIJING (AP) -- China has denied criticism by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that it is hampering efforts to end the Syrian conflict by supporting President Bashar Assad's government.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said in a statement Saturday that Clinton's remarks were "totally unacceptable" and that China has contributed greatly to the cause of Syrian peace.
He said China has wide international support for its "just and constructive" stance on Syria.
Clinton said at a recent conference on Syria that Russia and China should pay a price for supporting the Assad regime.
Neither Moscow nor Beijing attended the conference. The two countries have twice blocked U.N. condemnations of Syria's government and last weekend worked to water down a transition plan by international envoy Kofi Annan.
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