BEIJING, March 17 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday said it maintains "objective and fair position" on the ongoing Ukraine issue, urging relevant parties to seek political solution through talks.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks in response to the outcome of the Crimea referendum on Sunday.
China is deeply concerned at the development in the Crimea situation, Hong said. "We call on all sides to exercise restraint."
China urged relevant parties to seek political solution through dialogue as soon as possible and appropriately solve the crisis on basis of respecting reasonable concerns and legitimate interests of all sides, he said.
The Crimean parliament declared independence from Ukraine on Monday, after official results showed 96.77 percent of Crimean voters chose to join Russia in Sunday's referendum.
The Crimea crisis began in late February following the ouster of pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.