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China offers support for strife-torn Venezuela at United Nations
September 20, 2017 / 5:06 AM / a month ago

China offers support for strife-torn Venezuela at United Nations

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during a news conference at the foreign ministry in San Jose, Costa Rica September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

BEIJING (Reuters) - China believes that the Venezuelan government and people can resolve their problems within a legal framework and maintain national stability, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Venezuelan counterpart at the United Nations.

At least 125 people have been killed in four months of protests against President Nicolás Maduro’s government, which has resisted calls to bring forward the presidential election and instead set up a pro-Maduro legislative superbody called a Constituent Assembly that has overruled the country’s opposition-led Congress.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he wanted democracy restored soon in Venezuela and warned that the United States might take additional measures to apply pressure on the oil-producing nation.

China, a good friend of Venezuela‘s, has brushed off widespread condemnation from the United States, Europe and others about the situation in the country.

Wang told Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza on Tuesday on the sidelines of a U.N. meeting that the two countries have an all-round strategic partnership, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday.

“China’s policy towards Venezuela will not change,” the report cited Wang as saying.

China has always upheld the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, and believes Venezuela’s government and people have the ability to resolve problems via talks within a legal framework and protect national stability, Wang added.

“The international community should take a fair and objective stance and play a constructive role,” he said.

China and oil-rich Venezuela have a close diplomatic and business relationship, especially in energy.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Michael Perry

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