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China says it backs 'principles' on Ukraine; Russia claims agreement

Published on Mar 3, 2014 7:42 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - China, which consistently says it opposes interference in other countries' internal affairs, is looking to "maintain principles" on Ukraine, it said on Monday after Russia insisted the two were in broad agreement.

Moscow has appeared keen to stress that it has a major international ally on its military intervention in Ukraine, and Beijing frequently backs its positions against Western powers on thorny issues, such as the protracted conflict in Syria.

But analysts say China is torn between wanting to support Russia and keeping to its longtime opposition to foreign intervention, especially given its own separatist issues in the far-western region of Xinjiang.

When asked about Ukraine at a regular press briefing on Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang answered indirectly.

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