BEIJING (AFP) - China has no intention of sending troops to Afghanistan, state media said Monday, downplaying recent reports quoting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown as saying Beijing could do so. "Except the United Nations peacekeeping operations approved by the UN Security Council, China never sends troops abroad," the official Xinhua news agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang as saying in a statement. "The media reports about China sending troops to participate in the ISAF in Afghanistan are groundless," it quoted him as saying. Qin was responding to reports that Brown suggested China could contribute to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Xinhua said. According to reports last week, Brown told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York that China could one day contribute troops to ISAF. The international force includes nearly 50,000 troops, working to help stabilise the country and fighting insurgents from the Taliban regime. Originally mandated by the United Nations Security Council, ISAF was placed under NATO command in August 2003. In addition to ISAF, a separate US-led contingent of several thousand mainly American troops operates in the country as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and is also involved in training the Afghan security forces.