China urges calm and restraint in Ukraine
In a statement Saturday, China's foreign minister urged all countries involved to come together to find a diplomatic way forward in Ukraine. He also said China would not interfere in what it considers an internal affair.
China has said it will not interfere in what it considers an internal affair and that it respects the Ukrainian people's decisions.
The most serious East-West confrontation since the end of the Cold War escalated on Thursday when Crimea's parliament, dominated by ethnic Russians, voted to join Russia and set a referendum for March 16. The conflict resulted from the overthrow last month of President Viktor Yanukovich after protests in Kiev that led to violence.
"The priority now is to exercise calm and restraint and prevent further escalation of the situation," Wang said at his annual news conference.
"It is regrettable that the situation in Ukraine has come to what it is today, yet it is not by accident that the situation has reached this point," he said, adding that there was a complex history behind Ukraine as well as conflicting interests.
"The more complex the problem, the more necessary for it to be handled in a prudent way," Wang said.
Reporting by Michael Martina