China calls for peaceful talks on Venezuela crises

BEIJING (AA): China on Saturday urged peaceful talks to address the Venezuela crisis and voiced its support for the international community’s efforts towards this end, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

In a statement, ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: “China believes that Venezuela’s affairs should be resolved by the Venezuelan people under the framework of its constitution and laws and through peaceful dialogue and political means.”

She pointed to a UN-led international contact group formed on Thursday and called on the parties to play a constructive role.

Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10, when President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.

Tensions rose when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself acting president on Jan. 23, a move supported by the U.S. and many European and Latin American countries.

Russia, China, Iran, Bolivia and Mexico have put their weight behind Maduro, as has Turkey.

Twenty European Union member states including Spain, Germany, France and Britain have recognized Guaido, upping the pressure on Maduro.