Continued from page 1

Last week, more than 500 people were killed in fighting during what was supposed to be a four-day truce timed to coincide with a major Muslim holiday. The failure to halt fighting at least temporarily has left the international community at a loss about how to stop the war.

On Thursday, China called for a phased-in cease-fire and negotiations on a gradual political transition to end the bloodshed.

The four-point proposal issued by the Foreign Ministry stopped short of calling for Mr. Assad’s ouster and omitted mention of any measures to compel compliance. Alongside Russia, China steadfastly has blocked any outside intervention that could force Mr. Assad from power.

The proposal called on the international community to support the work of the U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, who pushed for the failed cease-fire.