Mon Aug 28, 2017 02:26PM
Hua Chunying, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman
Hua Chunying, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman

China has denounced the newly-imposed US sanctions against Venezuela, saying unilateral measures would be of no avail and could only make things more complex.

The condemnation was made by the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a daily news briefing in the capital Beijing on Monday, after the White House announced a new range of economic sanctions against Caracas, including a ban on business dealings with the Venezuelan government and its oil companies.

Asked about the new US measure, Hua said China's position has consistently been to respect the sovereignty and independence of other countries and not to interfere in their internal affairs.

"The present problem in Venezuela should be resolved by the Venezuelan government and people themselves," the Chinese official said at the news briefing.

"The experience of history shows that outside interference or unilateral sanctions will make the situation even more complicated and will not help resolve the actual problem," she added.

China and Venezuela are close allies and have a close diplomatic and business relationship, especially in energy.

This handout picture shows Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro raising his clenched fist during a rally against US President Donald Trump, in Caracas, on August 14, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

On Friday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that prohibits dealings with Venezuela, a measure taken to halt financing what the White House called President Nicolas Maduro's "dictatorship."

Maduro says the US is seeking to stifle oil exports through sanctions and a "naval blockade" on the Latin American country. He also says the US and its allies in the region are fomenting instability to bring down his government.

Political tensions in Venezuela rose recently after Caracas announced plans to establish a Constituent Assembly to take over the opposition-controlled parliament and rewrite the constitution. The opposition saw the move as an overt attempt by Maduro to accumulate power.

Protests erupted on the streets, and clashes led to the death of at least 120 people from the two sides.