China to continue trade relations with Russia
China will maintain normal trade relations with Russia despite international sanctions, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday during a regular press conference.
“China and Russia will continue to carry out normal trade cooperation following the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit,” he said.
According to the spokesman, China’s position was to oppose any “illegally imposed” unilateral sanctions, believing that “sanctions are not an effective solution to solve problems.”
The Tuesday statement repeats the ones made during a press conference on Monday. Answering a question from a Reuters journalist about China buying energy and other commodities from Russia after the recent sanctions, Wang Wenbin said the two countries were to “continue to conduct normal trade cooperation,” according to the official transcript.
During that press conference, the spokesman also stated that China’s stance on the conflict in Ukraine had not changed. Replying to a question about humanitarian aid, he said China was “ready to play a constructive role in easing the situation in Ukraine.”
Speaking on Monday at an emergency UN session, China’s permanent representative Zhang Jun said that it’s possible to resolve the conflict between Russia and Ukraine through direct dialogue and negotiations.
Earlier in 2022 Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping issued a joint declaration calling for a halt to NATO expansion, which Moscow was opposed to and has tried to mitigate through obtaining security guarantees from the US-led military bloc.
Russia launched an attack on Ukraine last Thursday, claiming it had to use force to stop Ukrainian attacks against the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, and to demilitarize and “denazify” the country.Kiev and Western countries condemned Russia for committing an act of unprovoked aggression. Western sanctions imposed against Moscow in retaliation are intended to seriously impact Russia’s economy.