China has voiced opposition to US-led air strikes against Syrian military targets and called for talks, saying that the Western operation had complicated efforts to find a solution to the crisis.

Beijing has also called for an investigation into claims of a Syrian chemical attack in Douma

South China Morning Post reports: “Any unilateral military action violates the United Nations charter and its principles and international law and its principles. [The strikes] are also going to add more factors to complicate the resolution of the Syrian crisis,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.

Beijing also called for an investigation into claims of a Syrian poison gas attack on the rebel-held town of Douma that rescuers and monitors say killed more than 40 people, and prompted the Western action.

“The Chinese side believes a comprehensive, impartial and objective investigation should be conducted into the suspected chemical attacks and it should come up with reliable conclusions … Before this, no conclusion by any side should be made,” Hua said.

Hua also said the Chinese embassy in Damascus was in close contact with Chinese citizens in the country.

“So far they are all safe,” she said.

Beijing was responding to air strikes by the United States, Britain and France carried out on what the US said were three chemical weapons facilities – one scientific facility near Damascus and two storage facilities near Homs.