Respect For Former Soviet Republics’ Sovereignty Stated By China.

The sovereignty of certain nations was recently questioned by a Chinese Ambassador.

A spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry said the country respects sovereignty of former Soviet Union republics and China was one of the first nations to nations to establish relations with newly created countries. Beijing made the statement after a Chinese envoy recently told French television that former Soviet countries were not sovereign countries.

TASS agency quoted Mao Ning, a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry as saying, “Since the inception of diplomatic relations, China has always adhered to the principle of mutual respect and equal treatment while fostering bilateral relations of friendship and cooperation. China respects the sovereign status of the republics that were founded after the Soviet Union disintegrated.” 

Ning added China was ready to continue working with international community to achieve a peaceful solution to the Ukraine crisis. 

The governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania rejected Ambassador Lu Shaye’s comment to a French broadcaster. While answering a question about the status of Crimea, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014, Lu said “There was no agreement to solidify their status as a sovereign country.”

Beijing declared it had a no-limits friendship with Moscow before its 2022 invasion of Ukraine but has tried to appear neutral, calling for a ceasefire and peace talks. China has repeated Russian justifications for the invasion.

The ambassador drew a parallel with the Baltic nations and other former Soviet republics that declared independence from Moscow when the Soviet Union broke up in 1991.

“With regards to international law, even these ex-Soviet Union countries, they do not, they do not have the status…how to say it? that’s effective in international law, because there is no international agreement to solidify their status as a sovereign country,” Lu told a French television.

Following Lu’s comments,  Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia summoned Chinese envoys of respective countries and sought clarification.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he doesn’t recognise Ukraine’s sovereignty. The Kremlin has made clear that it sees the independence of the Baltic States and their role in NATO and the European Union as threats to Russian security.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government sees Moscow as a partner in opposing US domination of global affairs. Beijing has said it wants to act as a peace mediator, but governments including the United States say a ceasefire would legitimize Putin’s territorial gains.

“If anyone is still wondering why the Baltic States don’t trust China to broker peace in Ukraine,’ here’s a Chinese ambassador arguing that Crimea is Russian and our countries’ borders have no legal basis,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Twitter.

The French foreign ministry noted that governments including China recognised Ukraine’s borders, including Crimea, when it declared independence in 1991. 

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