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14 Feb, 2024 13:34

Sanctioning Chinese companies that cooperate with Russia would be illegal – Beijing

Brussels has reportedly proposed imposing trade restrictions on three entities over what it calls support of Moscow
Sanctioning Chinese companies that cooperate with Russia would be illegal – Beijing

China firmly opposes a reported EU proposal to impose trade restrictions on three Chinese firms over their cooperation with Russia, the Foreign Affairs Ministry has said in a statement seen by Bloomberg, calling the potential move “illegal sanctions.” 

“We are aware of the relevant reports,” the statement issued by the ministry reads before going on to condemn what it called “long-arm jurisdiction against China on the grounds of cooperation between China and Russia.”

Beijing will “take the necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises,” according to the ministry. 

Brussels has reportedly proposed targeting nearly two dozen firms, including three based in China and one in India, over what EU diplomats call support of Moscow’s war efforts.

The bloc had previously discussed similar measures against Chinese companies but met strong resistance from several member states. Moreover, Beijing offered reassurances that it was not supporting Russia’s military.

“Chinese and Russian enterprises carry out normal exchanges and cooperation and do not target third parties, nor should they be interfered with or influenced by third parties,” China’s Foreign Ministry said.

If approved, the measures would be the first instance of EU restrictions on companies in mainland China since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict. Bloomberg reported that the list of potential targets includes enterprises in Hong Kong, Serbia, India, and Türkiye, some of which are also being targeted for the first time.

China along with many nations of the Global South have refused to follow the West’s lead over the Russia-Ukraine conflict and have instead adopted a stance of neutrality and largely maintained trade ties with Moscow. China’s Foreign Ministry has repeatedly noted the constructive role Beijing has played in attempting to bring about peace talks between the two sides, emphasizing that it “is the US, not China, that has been pouring weapons into the battlefield.”

The ministry has rejected accusations of providing military assistance to Moscow, calling such claims “disinformation.” The Kremlin, meanwhile, said that it had nothing to add to Beijing’s position on the proposed EU sanctions on Chinese companies. Russia has also repeatedly expressed its opposition to what it also believes are illegal sanctions.

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