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China says sanctions won't help as Trump targets Venezuela
August 28, 2017 / 11:06 AM / a month ago

China says sanctions won't help as Trump targets Venezuela

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

BEIJING (Reuters) - Venezuela’s close ally China said on Monday that history shows external interference and unilateral sanctions only make things more complex and will not help resolve problems, after the United States imposed new sanctions on Venezuela.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order that prohibits dealings in new debt from the Venezuelan government or its state oil company on Friday in an effort to halt financing that the White House said fuels President Nicolas Maduro’s “dictatorship”.

Maduro, who has frequently blamed the United States for waging an “economic war” on Venezuela, said the United States was seeking to force Venezuela to default — but he said it would not succeed.

Asked about the new U.S. measure, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China’s position had consistently been to respect the sovereignty and independence of other countries and not to interfere in their internal affairs.

“The present problem in Venezuela should be resolved by the Venezuelan government and people themselves,” she told a daily news briefing.

“The experience of history shows that outside interference or unilateral sanctions will make the situation even more complicated and will not help resolve the actual problem,” Hua added.

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

This month, China said it believed voting in Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly election was “generally held smoothly”, brushing off widespread condemnation from the United States, Europe and others and evidence of voting irregularities.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel

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