China - Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (24 April 2023)


The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Principal Private Secretary hosted a long-planned meeting today with the Chinese Ambassador to France, Mr Lu Shaye.

At the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ request, the Principal Private Secretary reviewed the appalling remarks made in public by Mr Lu Shaye on 21 April, in particular his assertion that “the countries of the former Soviet Union don’t have effective status under international law because there is not an international agreement confirming their status as sovereign nations.”

He stressed that is it unacceptable to question respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all States – basic principles of the United Nations Charter, which is incumbent on everyone. In this regard, he pointed out that the whole international community, including the People’s Republic of China, has recognized, within their existing borders, the 15 States which acquired or restored their independence after the break-up of the Soviet Union through bilateral agreements and then by establishing or restoring diplomatic relations with all the States concerned.

More specifically in the case of Ukraine, on the fall of the USSR it was recognized internationally in its borders, including Crimea, by the whole international community, including China, as a new United Nations member State. China also recognized the validity of the Budapest Memorandum of 4 December 1994, publishing on the same day a national declaration providing Ukraine with security guarantees.

Noting the clarifications made today, 24 April, by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs recalling China’s official position, and stating that the remarks by the Chinese Ambassador to France were expressed in a personal capacity, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Principal Private Secretary called on him to ensure that his public statements are in line with his country’s official positions.