China reiterates call for Crimea political dialogue
                 English.news.cn | 2014-03-18 17:06:26 | Editor: Fu Peng

BEIJING, March 18 (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday reiterated its call for political dialogue to appropriately address the Crimea crisis after a referendum was held on the region's future status.

"We hope that the Crimea issue will be appropriately handled and resolved through political dialogue as soon as possible while the reasonable concern and legitimate rights of all sides are respected," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily news briefing.

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.

Late on Monday, Hong said in response to the outcome of the referendum that China maintains an "objective and fair position" on the ongoing Ukraine crisis, urging all parties involved to seek political solution through talks.

China is deeply concerned at the development of the situation in Crimea, the spokesman said. "We call on all sides to exercise restraint."

The Crimea crisis began in late February following the ousting of pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

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