China has voiced its opposition to sanctions against Burma, as the U.N. Security Council considers a response to the military government's recent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said Tuesday any action adopted by the Security Council should be prudent and useful, and not involve sanctions.

The council is considering issuing a statement condemning the crackdown.

China is a close ally and major trading partner with Burma. It has veto power as a permanent member of the Security Council, and has blocked action against Burma in the past.

In other developments today, the opposition party of detained Nobel laureate and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (National League for Democracy) welcomed recent attempts by the Burmese government to resume dialogue, voicing its support for negotiations.

Burma's government has appointed a special liaison to communicate with Aung San Suu Kyi and its top leader, General Than Shwe has offered to meet with her as well.

General Than Shwe's invitation included preconditions that Aung San Suu Kyi end her support for sanctions on Burma and drop her confrontational stance.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won a landslide victory in 1990 elections. Burma's government refused to recognize the results of the race and has since prevented the NLD from taking office.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for more than a decade.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.