China has urged the international community to avoid escalating tensions in Myanmar as the UN Security Council prepares to discuss a response to the military coup in the Southeast Asian nation . Myanmar’s military seized power on Monday in a flurry of early morning raids resulting in the detention of leading members of the civilian government, including Aung San Suu Kyi. The military said it was imposing a one-year state of emergency, after which fresh elections would be held. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy was the overwhelming winner in legislative elections held in November. Joining a chorus of leaders around the world, US President Joe Biden said the coup was a “direct assault on the country’s transition to democracy and rule of law” and threatened new sanctions against Myanmar. British envoy to the United Nations Barbara Woodward said that during an emergency meeting on Tuesday the Security Council would “look at a range of measures, with the idea of respecting the people’s will expressed in the vote and releasing civil society leaders”. China, a permanent council member with veto power over any proposals, said the international community should not take any action that would raise tensions in Myanmar. “We have maintained communication with all relevant parties with regard to the matters to be discussed at the UN Security Council,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday. “Any action taken by the international community should be conducive to political and social stability in Myanmar and beneficial to a peace resolution, instead of worsening tension and further complicating the situation.” Beijing has not condemned the coup, saying the matter should be resolved by the factions within Myanmar. China is one of Myanmar’s biggest economic partners and has invested billions of dollars in infrastructure projects in the country, including in gas pipelines that would allow China’s energy imports from the Middle East to bypass Malacca Strait chokepoints. Beijing, along with Moscow, has blocked council action against its neighbour in the past, including after the 2017 military crackdown against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state. China also maintained relations with Myanmar after the military’s violent suppression of protests in 1988. That crackdown prompted the United States to halt all arms sales and foreign aid, except humanitarian assistance. The US sanctions were tightened over the decades until they were lifted in December 2016, when then president Barack Obama said the Myanmese government had made “substantial progress in improving human rights”.