BENGHAZI (AFP) - China acknowledged Friday for the first time contact with Libya's rebels, as US lawmakers mulled a resolution forcing President Barack Obama to explain his decision to intervene in Libya. The United States and the United Nations, meanwhile, slammed Qatar's deportation of a Libyan woman who alleged she had been raped by soldiers loyal to Libyan strongman Moamer Gaddafi. Beijing's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement that a Chinese diplomat has met with the leader of Libya's opposition to discuss the conflict in the oil-rich nation. China's ambassador to Qatar, Zhang Zhiliang, held talks with Mustapha Abdul-Jalil of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) in recent days. "The two sides exchanged views on the Libyan situation," Hong said. "China's position on the Libyan issue is clear -- we hope that the Libyan crisis can be resolved through political means and that the future of Libya is decided by the Libyan people." The statement did not say when or where the meeting took place. The announcement of talks between China, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, and the rebel leadership comes as explosions rattled Tripoli overnight and Russia prepared to send an envoy to mediate the conflict. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow would send an envoy to Tripoli and the rebels' capital of Benghazi to mediate, the Italian news agency ANSA reported, quoting diplomats. "We would like as much as possible for the problem to be resolved through negotiations and not by military means," Medvedev told reporters in Rome. Russia, also a permanent Security Council member, and China abstained from the UN Security Council vote in March that gave the go-ahead for international military action against the regime of Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi. In Washington, some lawmakers from both parties have contested Obama's continuation of military operations in Libya under the War Powers Act, which gives the president 60 days to seek congressional approval for military action. US House Speaker John Boehner was to introduce a resolution Friday calling on Obama to explain his decision to intervene in Libya. The measure was seen as a sign of concern by the Republican leadership that a rival measure by Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich, which calls for a immediate cessation of US action in Libya, could garner enough support to pass. The text of Boehner's resolution would require Obama to tell Congress why he did not seek its permission to commit US forces to the NATO-led mission. The House will also vote Friday on the Kucinich resolution, which Defence Secretary Robert Gates has warned could have dangerous long-term consequences. The United States meanwhile accused Qatar Friday of violating humanitarian norms by deporting to Benghazi Libyan woman Iman al-Obeidi, who charged she had been raped by Gaddafi's soldiers. US officials had repeatedly asked the Qatari government to allow to "travel with UNHCR (High Commissioner for Refugees) officials to a safe third country," State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said. "So we were disappointed at her forced return (to Libya), and we believe it's a breach of humanitarian norms," Toner said. In Geneva, the UNHCR too slammed Qatar's decision to send Obeidi back to Libya, saying it "violates international law." UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said Obeidi is a recognised refugee and that UNHCR officials were at the hotel where she was staying, ready to accompany her to get on to a flight for Romania. "She was prevented from leaving for this flight in the early hours of Thursday morning, said the spokesman. Obeidi attracted international media attention when she stormed into Tripoli's Rixos hotel on March 26, threw open her coat to reveal scars and bruises on her body to expose her ordeal. But as she screamed: "Film me, film me, show the whole world all they did to me," she was dragged off by security guards amid scenes of mayhem as journalists were shoved aside while trying to intervene. A Libyan rebel official told AFP last month that Obeidi had escaped from Libya to Qatar with the help of rebels. Off the Tunisian coast, up to 270 migrants were missing after a ship packed with refugees fleeing Libya and headed for Italy capsized, Tunisian authorities said. Army and coastguard teams lifted 570 people off the overcrowded vessel after it ran aground and capsized near Tunisia's Kerkennah islands on Wednesday. But between 200 and 270 were still missing after they tried to scramble aboard a flotilla of rescue boats, Tunisia's official TAP news agency said. The Tunisian coastguard said Friday it had recovered two bodies, dismisssing claims by the Red Crescent that 123 bodies had been fished from the sea.