China opposes outside interference in Venezuela’s affairs

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Demonstrators follow a truck during a protest of opposition supporters against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

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 emphasize 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 spiraling downward in 2015, pressured by plummeting oil prices.

Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Nick Macfie

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