Beijing says it opposes foreign interference to divide Belarus, reaffirming bilateral ties
Updated 20:50, 19-Aug-2020

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Wednesday that China respects Belarus' sovereignty and its people's choice in handling the political instability, while reaffirming China's high-level partnership with Belarus.

In response to a question on China's standpoint on turmoil in Belarus, MOFA spokesman Zhao Lijian said China respects Belarusian people's right to choose their own development path and their efforts in defending their country's independence, sovereignty, security and economic development. 

China and Belarus, as all-weather partners, enjoy a comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual trust and win-win cooperation, Zhao noted.

As Belarus's good friend and good partner, Zhao said China doesn't want to see the political turmoil in the Eastern European country and opposes any foreign interference in Belarus' domestic affairs as well as any attempt to divide the country. 

At the UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday, China's UN Ambassador Zhang Jun emphasized that what's happening in Belarus is the country's internal affairs and it does not pose any threat to regional or international peace and security.

In this regard, the situation in Belarus is not a matter for the Security Council, Zhang said during the discussion of the United Nations Security Council on Belarus, at the request by the U.S. and Estonia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and European Council President Charles Michel also discussed the situation in Belarus in a phone call on Tuesday. 

Putin expressed concern over the attempts of some countries to put pressure on the Belarusian leadership and "in every possible way" to destabilize the political situation in the country.

Earlier in the day, Putin held phone calls on the same issue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron. 

Belarus is engulfed in mass protests after incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won a sixth term in August 9 elections, with the opposition refusing to recognize the results. 

On Monday, Lukashenko said at a rally in Minsk that there would be no re-election, adding he could share presidential power in accordance with the country's constitution. 

Meanwhile, the nascent political opposition in Belarus set up a council inside the country on Tuesday, a move President Lukashenko denounced as an attempt to seize power.

(With input from Xinhua)

(Cover: File photo of Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations. /VCG Photo)