China affirms ex-Soviet states’ sovereignty after EU outrage
European officials questioned Chinese foreign policy Monday after Lu Shaye, the Chinese ambassador to France, said the Baltic states don’t have “effective status in international law.” Lu made the comment during a French TV interview while responding to a question about the contested Crimean Peninsula. Soon after, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said China respects the sovereignty of ex-Soviet countries. European Union officials planned to discuss China during a foreign minister meeting Monday, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said.
Could this affect the war in Ukraine? China has so far refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but has called for cease-fires and peace talks. Russia does not recognize Ukraine’s independence. But the French foreign ministry noted that governments including China recognized Ukraine’s borders when it was declared after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. China’s position is “consistent and clear,” Mao said Monday. But she did not indicate whether Lu’s comment was considered incorrect.
Dig deeper: Read Marvin Olasky’s cover story from the WORLD archives about how three former Soviet cities worked to move forward in 2012.
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