China, Russia criticize US sanctions on Venezuela amid political tussle
China warned on Tuesday that US sanctions against Venezuela's state oil company will hurt the livelihoods of ordinary people and complicate the situation in the crisis-hit country. The sanctions announced Monday hit PDVSA just as embattled President Nicolas Maduro faces a challenge from opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has won the backing of the United States and other Western nations.
"We oppose unilateral sanctions," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing. "Historical experience has proved that external interference or sanctions will only complicate the situation and will not help solve practical problems," Geng said.
The sanctions "will lead to a deterioration of the people's livelihoods in Venezuela, and (those who imposed them) should be responsible for the serious consequences," he said. China is a key financial back of the Venezuelan government. Asked on Tuesday whether China still recognises Maduro as president, Geng repeated that Beijing sent a special representative to his inauguration earlier this month. Russia has also refused to turn its back on Maduro, slamming the sanctions as "illegal".
(With inputs from agencies.)
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