An early-morning try to catch up with some Chinese coverage of the Crimea crisis. Links within blockquotes added during translation.
Xinhua published this communiqué on Thursday morning:
1. Xinhua online, March 20, 2014
Xinhua, United Nations, March 19. China’s permanent envoy to the United Nations, Liu Jieyi, said on March 19 that in China’s view, a political solution needed to be sought for the Crimean issue, under a lawful and orderly framework. All sides needed to maintain restraint and to avoid action that would exacerbate the contradictions.
The Security Council held a public session that day, concerning the situation in Ukraine. Liu Jieyi said in a speech that China had always paid great attention to the developments in Ukraine. The Security Council had discussed the Ukraine issue several times previously, and China had clearly set forth its principled position concerning the relevant issues. Respecting all countries’ independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity had been China’s consistent position.
He said that China had always upheld a just [or impartial], objective attitude. We will continue efforts to promote peace talks and to play a constructive role in a political solution of the Ukraine crisis. China has made a proposal: to establish, as soon as possible, an international coordination mechanism, formed by all parties involved, to discuss ways for a political solution to the Ukraine crisis, with no side taking action during that phase that could aggravate the situation, with the International Monetary Fund starting discussions and assisting Ukraine in maintaining economic and financial stability.
他说，中国在乌克兰问题上始终秉持 公正、客观的态度。我们将继续劝和促谈，为政治解决乌克兰危机进一步发挥建设性作用。中方已就政治解决乌 克兰危机提出建议：尽快设立由有关各方组成的国际协调机制，探讨政治解决乌克兰危机的途径；各方在此期间均不采取进一步恶化局势的行动；国际金融机构着手 探讨，并协助乌克兰维护经济和金融稳定。
He also said that the international community should make constructive efforts to mitigate the tense situation. China supports Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s good offices [mediation] in Russia and Ukraine, and [China] hopes that the international community will continue to make constructive efforts to mitigate the tense situation.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon left for Russia and Ukraine on the afternoon of March 19, to make diplomatic efforts for a peaceful solution of the current crisis.
2. Earlier this month, on March 3 and 4, Qin Gang replied to several Ukraine-related questions:
Q: The Russian Parliament approved the use of force against Ukraine. Does China offer diplomatic support to Russia? Does China recognize the new Ukrainian government?
A: On your first question, please refer to the remarks I made yesterday. With respect to the Ukrainian issue, we uphold China’s long-standing diplomatic principles and basic norms governing international relations, and also take into account the history and complexity of the issue. It is fair to say that our position, which is objective, fair, just and peaceful, follows both principles and facts.
On the second question, judgement needs to be made based on laws of Ukraine.
Q: Some western leaders believe that what Russia did violates international law. What is China’s comment?
A: Yesterday, I elaborated on China’s view and position on the current situation in Ukraine and you may take a look at that.
I want to point out that we are aware of the historical facts and realistic complexity of the Ukrainian issue. There are reasons for why the situation in Ukraine is what it is today. We hope relevant parties can seek a political resolution of their differences through dialogue and consultation, prevent tensions from growing and jointly maintain regional peace and stability.
Qin Gang, FMPRC spokesman, March 3, 2014
Q: China says that not to interfere in others’ internal affairs is its long-standing position and it also takes into account the historical facts and the realistic complexity of the Ukrainian issue. What do you mean by historical facts? Does China view Russia’s operation in Crimea as interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs?
A:China has made clear of its position on the Ukrainian issue. As for the historical facts of this issue, please review or refer to the history of Ukraine and this region. I believe that you will understand what we mean after learning about relevant history.
On your second question, please have a complete and comprehensive understanding of China’s position. We uphold the principle of non-interference in others’ internal affairs and respect international law and widely recognized norms governing international relations. Meanwhile we take into account the historical facts and realistic complexity of the Ukrainian issue. You may also analyze why the situation in Ukraine is what it is today based on activities and behaviors of relevant parties in the past months.
Q: Chinese and Russian Foreign Ministers had a telephone conversation yesterday. The Russian side says that China backs Russia’s position on the Ukrainian issue. What is China’s comment? Please give us more details and China’s position on the Ukrainian issue.
A: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation yesterday. Foreign Minister Lavrov talked about Russia’s position and viewpoint on the current situation in Ukraine and the two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on that. Both believe that a proper settlement of the Ukrainian crisis is of vital importance to regional peace and stability.
We have already issued China’s principle and position on the Ukrainian issue.
Qin Gang, FMPRC spokesman, March 4, 2014
3. Life in Crimea, according to a Chinese press article
“(The turmoil) doesn’t have a great impact on daily life and on Chinese overseas students studying here in Crimea”, Yu Junwei, a second-grade graduate student at Crimea Comprehensive University’s Faculty of Management tells the “Huanqiu Shibao” reporter[s]. “The most tense two days were those of the stand-off in front of the Crimean parliament building, between pro-Russian forces and anti-Russian factions, when classes were suspended. At all other times, we regularly had classes.” A student from Sichuan who is interviewed together with Yu says: “I’ve been here as a student for five years, and after graduation, I want to stay here to work for some time. After that, I will think about returning home.” She says that Crimea is a good human and natural environment, with a rather high ecducational level, a comfortable pace of work and rather little stress in life which made her “feel at home” [or, possibly meant this way: having such a good time that one forgets to go home]. Yu Junwei has similar feelings: “Apart from studying, I also guide some domestic business delegations and earn some money to reduce my family’s burden, and also gather some social experience.” Yu Junwei says: “After Crimea has joined Russia, it should be easier to come from China to travel here, and adding Chinese peoples’ historic feelings for Yalta in Crimea, its tourism industry should develop faster, which would also somewhat improve my work prospects.”
“从生活角度来说，(动乱)对正在克里米亚求学的中国留学生 影响不大。”正在克里米亚综合大学管理系上研究生二年级的余军伟告诉《环球时报》记者：“局势最紧张的两天，也就是亲俄力量与反俄派在国会大厦对峙的时候 学校停课，其他时候我们都正常上课。”和余军伟一起接受采访的一位四川籍女生表示：“我在这里学生生活5年时间了，毕业后也想继续留在这里工作一段时间， 然后再考虑回国。”她表示，克里米亚良好的自然与人文环境，相对较高的教育水平，闲适的工作节奏和相对较小的生活压力让她“乐不思蜀”。余军伟也有同样的 感受：“学习之余，我也带一些从国内来的商务考察团，赚一些钱来减轻家里的负担，同时也能积累更多的社会经验。”余军伟表示：“克里米亚加入俄罗斯之后， 从中国来这里旅游会更加方便，加上中国人对克里米亚的雅尔塔所抱有的历史感情，该地旅游业未来会有更快的发展，我的工作前景也会更好一些。”
Because of rather high educational levels and comparatively low costs of studying abroad, Crimea has been an important place for many Chinese overseas students. [A local, employee at] Crimea Comprehensive University’s foreign affairs office] tells the “Huanqiu Shibao” reporter[s]: “1995 to 1998 were the years when most Chinese overseas students studied here, more than three hundred every year, a peak time.” Yu Junwei says: “Originally, you paid seventy US dollars a year for a bed. Now the price has risen to 500 dollars. All expenses have risen. A Chinese overseas student spends 50,000 to 60,000 Yuan RMB a year, but to study in America or Europe comes at amounts as high as 300,000 to 400,000 Yuan RMB.” However, given much lowerd thresholds in America and Europe, the numbers of Chinese overseas students in Crimea are going down. In 2014, a total number of 28 Chinese overseas students studied at Crimea Comprehensive University, Crimea Medical University and other schools.
因为当地较高的教育水平和相对低廉的留学费用。克里米亚曾经是中国留学生的重要求学地。曾在克里米亚综合大学外事办工作 的当地人吴成克告诉《环球时报》记者：“1995年至1998年间，克里米亚的中国留学生最多，一年多达300人左右，是一个高峰期。”余军伟说：“这里 原来的学校住宿费是一张床一年70美元，现在涨到500美元。所有费用加起来，一个中国留学生一年的开销也就是5万至6万人民币，而在美欧留学一年开销高 达三四十万人民币。”不过，由于美国与欧洲留学门槛近年来降低了许多，现在在克里米亚求学的中国留学生逐年减少。2014年，克里米亚综合大学、克里米亚 医科大学和其他学校的中国留学生总计28人。
After a paragraph about the technicalities of continuing studies with old or new visas in Crimea, the article turns to Kiev, where a Chinese students is quoted as saying that the most tense areas had been confined to Independence Square [Maidan] and the streets around there. The student also has words of approval for the educaton department at the Chinese embassy in Kiev: “The diplomats are OK, just great.”
[The student] says that there are about ten thousand Chinese overseas students in Ukraine, many of them in Kiev. “Costs of studying are much lower here, than in America and Europe, as well, but the educational level is not low. Therefore, the political unrest doesn’t affect the lessons, and most overseas students will continue and complete their studies here.”
Huanqiu Shibao ["Global Times"], March 26, 2014