China said Saturday it was "opposed to the use of force" following US-led air strikes against Syria and called for a "return to the framework of international law".
"We consistently oppose the use of force in international relations, and advocate respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on its website.
Hua said unilateral military action bypassing the UN Security Council would "add new complicating factors to the resolution of the Syrian issue".
"China believes that a political solution is the only realistic way out for the Syrian issue," she added, and called for a full, fair and objective investigation into suspected chemical weapon attacks in Syria.
"China urges all the relevant parties to return to the framework of international law and to resolve the issue through dialogue and consultation."
China is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
Beijing has consistently said the Syrian crisis needs a "political solution" but has numerous times vetoed Security Council measures aimed at addressing the conflict -- including an investigation of war crimes in the country.
U.S., British and French forces struck Syria with more than 100 missiles on Saturday in the first coordinated Western strikes against the Assad regime.