A UN Security Council resolution, calling on countries not to recognize the results of the Crimean referendum, “could currently only lead to confrontation and further aggravate the situation,” according to a statement issued Sunday by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang.
“This is neither in Ukraine’s interest, nor in the interest of the international community,” the statement said. It warned all sides against taking any steps that would make the Ukrainian crisis worse.
Thirteen out of fifteen members of the UN Security Council voted March 15 in favor of the resolution, saying that the referendum in Crimea is illegitimate. Russia used its right of veto to block the resolution, while China abstained.
Following the vote, Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, told the Security Council that China held “an objective and fair position on the Ukraine issue,” as cited by Xinhua.
Liu said Beijing vows to “continue to mediate and promote dialogue so as to play a constructive role in bringing about a political solution to the crisis.”
The diplomat came up with three proposals. He called for setting up an international coordination mechanism to explore possibilities of a political settlement, urged all parties to refrain from escalation, and asked international financial institutions to help restore economic and financial stability in Ukraine.
“We cannot accept its basic assumption: to declare illegal the planned March 16 referendum where there residents of the Republic of Crimea should decide on their future,” Churkin said. “The philosophy of the authors of the draft runs counter to one of the basic principles of the international law – the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples enshrined in the Article 1 of the UN Charter.”
Crimea is holding a referendum on Sunday, with residents choosing between the republic’s reunification with Russia or remaining part of Ukraine with broader autonomy.
The referendum was prompted by a parliamentary coup in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, where President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted from office in February. Crimean authorities did not acknowledge the new government in Kiev as legitimate and made a decision to hold a referendum on the region’s future.