January 24, 2019 / 10:38 AM / 10 months ago

China opposes outside interference in Venezuela's affairs

FILE PHOTO: Hua Chunying, spokeswoman of China's Foreign Ministry, speaks at a regular news conference in Beijing, China, January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Thursday it opposes outside interference in Venezuela and supports its efforts to protect its independence and stability.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying called for all sides to calmly and reasonably find a peaceful solution.

“China supports efforts made by the Venezuelan government to protect the country’s sovereignty, independence and stability,” Hua told a regular briefing in Beijing.

“...I want to emphasise that outside sanctions or interference usually make the situation more complicated and are not helpful to resolving the actual problems.”

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday, winning backing from Washington and parts of Latin America and prompting Nicolas Maduro, the country’s leader since 2013, to break off ties with the United States.

China has lent over $50 billion to Venezuela through oil-for-loan agreements over the past decade, securing energy supplies for its fast-growing economy.

But the financing dried up as the South American country’s economy began spiralling downward in 2015, pressured by plummeting oil prices.

Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Nick Macfie

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