China has come out in support of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, defending the country's National Constituent Assembly election as "generally held smoothly," dismissing criticisms from the United States and its junior partners regarding alleged voting irregularities.
Over 8 million people cast their ballots in the election on Sunday — a turnout of over 41 percent of the electorate, according to electoral authorities — to choose the 545 members of the legislative superbody from among 6,120 candidates, in a mass display of support for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
On Wednesday, Venezuelan-based multinational Smartmatic – a firm that provided the technological platform for voting and services for the Venezuelan elections since 2004 – claimed to have identified "a difference between the announced figure and the number produced by the system is at least one million voters."
The head of the campaign for Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly, Jorge Rodriguez, insisted that the only valid results oare those provided by the National Electoral Council, CNE, which orginally counted 8,089,320 votes.
In a statement, China's Foreign Ministry said that the elections were "generally held smoothly", though it also noted "the reaction from all relevant sides."
China also reiterated that it doesn't believe in interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.
"We sincerely hope that all sides in Venezuela can orderly resolve the relevant issue with peaceful dialogue within a legal framework, and protect the country's stability and socio-economic development," the ministry said.
"China believes that the Venezuelan government and people have the ability to properly handle their internal affairs. A stable developing Venezuela accords with all sides interests," the statement added.
China and Venezuela have a long-standing close relationship on the diplomatic and business front, especially in energy.
Caracas has reiterated its refusal to surrender to the sanctions levied against it, saying it will continue to advance on a path of increased production, food sovereignty and an end to oil dependency alongside strategic partners such as India, China and Russia as well as fraternal regional nations.