A clash between knife-wielding attackers and police in China's volatile Xinjiang region left 16 people dead, including two police officers.
The officers were pursuing a terrorist suspect when they were attacked with knives, state media reported.
A spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said "within the law."
Hua Chunying said assailants "used explosive devices to attack police officers" and attacked them with knives.
The incident is the latest in the string of deadly clashes between the Muslim Uighur population and the state in China's western Xinjiang region.
Sweden-based Uighur activist Dilxat Raxit said the incident was the latest example of how Chinese security forces are "increasingly opting to kill suspects at the scene rather than capturing them and putting them on trial."
More top news
The former royal marine could be released in as little as two weeks after his sentence was reduced from murder to manslaughter.
The painting of the late singer was auctioned to help raise funds for HIV and Aids prevention and awareness.
Katie Hopkins has accused JK Rowling of living in a "fantasy land" as the two clashed in the aftermath of the Westminster terror attack.