In an interview with Swiss journalist Darius Rochebin, Chinese ambassador to France Lu Shaye said that former Soviet countries "have no effective status in international law."
“In international law, even these ex-Soviet Union countries do not have the effective status because there is no international agreement to materialize their status of a sovereign country,” he said.
“He denies the very existence of countries like Ukraine, Lithuania, Estonia, Kazakhstan, etc.,” Antoine Bondaz, a China expert at the Paris-based think-tank Foundation for Strategic Research, wrote on Twitter.
Also, when asked whether he thinks Crimea belongs to Ukraine, the ambassador said, "it depends on how you perceive the problem," adding that "it's not that simple." He also said Crimea was "Russian at the beginning," without specifying what he meant by beginning.
Ukraine has not yet commented on the issue.
Earlier this month, however, China’s Ambassador to the European Union, Fu Cong, downplayed the Russo-Chinese partnership. Despite China’s refusal to denounce the Russian aggression against Ukraine, Fu said that his homeland is not on Russia’s side of the war.
The Chinese ambassador added that the relationship between Beijing and Moscow has been “deliberately misinterpreted.”
He also has refuted the statement of U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken from February this year that China considers supplying Russia with arms.
However, in March, the U.S. government confirmed that Chinese ammunition had been used in Ukraine, likely fired by the Russian forces.