BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it was extremely concerned by events in Ukraine, and called for talks to find a political solution to the crisis.
Ukraine mobilized on Sunday for war and called up its reserves, after Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to invade in the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the Cold War.
China's Foreign Ministry said it was "deeply concerned" by what was happening.
"We condemn the recent extreme violent behavior in Ukraine, and continue to urge all sides in Ukraine to peacefully resolve their disputes within a legal framework, and conscientiously protect the legal rights all the peoples of Ukraine," the ministry said in a statement on its website (www.mfa.gov.cn).
China's principle has always been not to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, and China respects Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, the ministry added.
"There is a good reason for why events in Ukraine have progressed to where they are today," it said.
"China will keep closely monitoring developments, and calls on all sides to find a political resolution via dialogue and negotiations on the basis of respecting international law and the principles of international relations, and maintain regional peace and stability."
China and Russia have close ties and see eye-to-eye on many international diplomatic issues, such as the crisis in Syria.
China has so far shown little public interest in participating in any financial aid for Ukraine, or getting involved diplomatically, in line with the low key approach it takes to many international crises.
The foreign ministry has said it will not interfere in what it considers an internal affair and that it respects the Ukrainian people's decisions, adding that it would like to continue to develop "friendly cooperation" with the country.
Last week, China's top newspaper criticized the West for remaining locked in a "Cold War mentality" against Russia in the contest for influence over Ukraine, calling for the shackles of such outmoded thinking to be cast off to deal with the crisis.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)