China has expressed concern after Russia declared two regions of Georgia
independent. As Daniel Schearf reports from Beijing, China has its own concerns
about territorial integrity.
China's Foreign Ministry says it is
watching with close concern after Russia signed a declaration recognizing South
Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent from Georgia.
Dmitri Medvedev's declaration Tuesday was swiftly condemned by the United States
and European powers while China's response was more reserved.
Qin Gang, the Foreign Ministry spokesman,
says they understand the complex histories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. He
says China's ongoing position on this issue is that they hope all sides use
negotiations and dialogue to resolve the issue.
Russian military pounded
Georgian forces earlier this month after they tried to reassert control over
pro-Moscow South Ossetia.
Russia later agreed to pull back troops under
international pressure, but Georgian officials say they still occupy parts of
The Russian president was seeking support on the issue from
China and central Asian nations at a meeting in Tajikistan of the Shanghai
The SCO, however, did not give its support and
instead called for reconciliation and more talks to resolve the dispute over
control of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
One of the SCO's declared
purposes is to oppose separatism. Moreover, some of the members - Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, like Georgia, had once been part of the
former Soviet Union. They became independent nations after the Soviet Union
collapsed in 1991.
China, the founder of the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization, is also concerned about sending the wrong signal to independence
supporters in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Taiwan, the self-ruling island that Beijing
claims as its own.