China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning. (Photo/fmprc.gov.cn)
China has always respected the sovereign status of all former Soviet republics and this position has not changed, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Monday, after recent remarks on the issue by Chinese Ambassador to France Lu Shaye.
Speaking at a regular news conference in Beijing, Mao said that China was among the first nations to establish diplomatic relations with relevant countries after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. China follows the principles of mutual respect and equality in developing friendly and cooperative bilateral relations with them, she said.
During a recent television interview with a French media outlet, Lu referred to the status of Crimea during the Soviet era.
"Our position on the issue of territorial integrity is consistent and clear. China respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries, and upholds the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter," the spokeswoman said, adding that China has the best record in this regard.
Mao also said that China holds an objective and just position on the Ukraine issue, and will continue to work with the international community to make its own contribution to facilitating a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.
"Some media outlets have sought to misrepresent China's position on the issue and sow discord in relations between China and relevant countries. We should be vigilant about this," she said.
In another development, when asked about Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei's ongoing visit to the Taiwan island, Mao noted that some political figures in Guatemala have said in recent interviews that the overwhelming majority of countries recognize that Taiwan is a part of China and that it is irrational for Guatemala not to have diplomatic relations with China.
Emphasizing that China is Guatemala's second-largest source of imports and its fifth-largest destination of exports, she said recognizing the one-China principle and developing relations with China conform to the fundamental interests and aspirations of the Guatemalan people.