China says it respects sovereignty of ex-Soviet states, after EU uproar By Reuters

By Ingrid Melander and Andrew Grey

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) -China respects the standing of former Soviet member states as sovereign nations, its international ministry stated on Monday, distancing itself from feedback by its envoy to Paris that triggered an uproar amongst European capitals.

A number of European Union international ministers had stated feedback by ambassador Lu Shaye – during which he questioned the sovereignty of Ukraine and different former Soviet states – have been unacceptable and had requested Beijing to make clear its stance.

Requested if Lu’s feedback represented China’s official place, international ministry spokesperson Mao Ning stated that Beijing revered the standing of the previous Soviet member states as sovereign nations following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Mao advised a daily information briefing that it was her remarks on sovereignty that represented China’s official authorities stance.

The Chinese language embassy in Paris issued a press release afterward Monday to say that Lu’s feedback on Ukraine “weren’t a political declaration however an expression of his private views”.

Each statements, following the backlash, seemed to be an effort to ease the stress with the EU.

“Beijing has distanced itself from the unacceptable remarks by its ambassador,” Josep Borrell advised a information convention, saying it was “excellent news”.

The French international ministry stated it was “taking observe” of Beijing’s “clarifications” and that the minister’s chief of workers had met with Lu on Monday, advised him his feedback have been unacceptable and urged him to talk in a approach “that’s in step with his nation’s official stance.”

Lu has earned himself a fame as certainly one of China’s “wolf warrior” diplomats, so-called for his or her hawkish and abrasive type.

Requested about his place on whether or not Crimea was a part of Ukraine or not, Lu had stated in an interview aired on French TV on Friday that traditionally it was a part of Russia and had been supplied to Ukraine by former Soviet chief Nikita Khrushchev.

“These ex-USSR nations do not have precise standing in worldwide legislation as a result of there is no such thing as a worldwide settlement to materialize their sovereign standing,” Lu added.


Monday’s statements from the Chinese language international ministry and embassy in Paris got here after criticism from throughout the EU.

Talking forward of a Luxembourg assembly of EU international ministers earlier within the day, Czech Overseas Minister Jan Lipavsky stated Lu’s feedback have been “completely unacceptable”.

“I hope the bosses of this ambassador will make this stuff straight,” he advised reporters.

A spokesperson for Germany’s international ministry stated it had taken observe of Lu’s feedback “with nice astonishment, particularly because the statements are usually not in step with the Chinese language place we’ve recognized to this point.”

Lithuanian Overseas Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis stated the three Baltic nations would summon Chinese language representatives to formally ask for clarification.

He stated Beijing was “sending the identical message” as Moscow on questioning the sovereignty of former Soviet nations, which he described as “harmful”.

Lithuania and its Baltic neighbours Latvia and Estonia have been integrated into the Soviet Union in 1940, however regained independence after its break-up in 1991.

EU leaders would talk about the bloc’s stance in the direction of China and its future relations with Beijing throughout their subsequent summit in June, EU Council President Charles Michel stated.

Lu has been summoned to France’s international ministry a number of instances previously, together with for suggesting France was abandoning outdated individuals in nursing properties throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and for calling a revered China scholar at a French think-tank a “mad hyena”.

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