Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a statement in Beijing that the US war was aimed at preventing the US market from being affected by US sanctions.
“China is not a party to the crisis, and it does not want sanctions to be imposed on China,” Wang said in a phone call with Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares on Monday to discuss the war in Ukraine. “China has the right to the protection of its legal rights and interests.”
There is growing concern among investors that Chinese companies will face U.S. sanctions, after U.S. officials said Russia had asked Beijing for military and financial aid. The United States has warned European allies that Russia has ordered drones from China in late February as the invasion of Ukraine begins, according to people familiar with the matter.
China dismissed initial reports as “misinformation” on Monday, and Russia denied asking Beijing for help, saying it had enough resources to win the war. No one has yet responded to a report on armed drones that China has sold to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.
U.S. Secretary of State Gina Raimondo has warned that there is no evidence last week that the Chinese company intends to help Moscow overcome US austerity measures.
China has long been opposed to unilateral sanctions imposed outside the United Nations, an attitude that Wang reiterated on Monday. In places like Beijing, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong, those who have recently been subjected to U.S. sanctions for human rights issues are seen as serving U.S. sanctions as a violation of their sovereignty. In line with this, China has vowed to continue normal trade relations with Russia.
“China is always opposed to the use of sanctions to solve problems, and even more so against unilateral sanctions based on international law, which will undermine international law and harm the lives of people in all countries,” Wang said.
However, China has also insisted on retaliatory measures that would harm its economy, even though the US is directly targeting Beijing. During the trade war, China threatened, but never established, a list of “unreliable entities,” and state-owned banks have also enforced US sanctions against Hong Kong. He also delayed the imposition of an anti-sanctions law on the financial center after companies expressed concern.
‘The third way’
China is likely to encourage its major banks to comply with U.S. sanctions and “be careful to help navigate Moscow’s export controls on key technologies,” as long as the U.S. can credibly threaten secondary sanctions, analysts at US research firm Rhodium Group said in March. 3 report.
“Beijing would clearly prefer to find a third way out of the two options between helping Russia or renouncing it,” they wrote. “Beijing’s problem is that it will be difficult to hide its economic and financial commitment to Russia under the current penal architecture.”
Although China and Russia are aligned against the US alliance structure and control of the global financial system, cracks in relations have arisen since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. Beijing officials have expressed concern over the dead civilians, ensuring Ukraine’s sovereignty and increased diplomacy with European nations as they call for peace talks.
From a political point of view, President Xi Jinping also has little to do with a long war that continues to shake the financial and commodity markets. His government has made stability a priority this year ahead of a two-decade party congress in which it hopes to secure a third term that breaks the precedent.
China also needs good relations with the United States and its partners to meet its economic goals, especially as growth has been slowing for more than three decades. The US and the European Union together accounted for more than a quarter of China’s total trade in 2020, compared to Russia’s 2.5%.
“It’s not clear whether China is willing to help Russia so much, given that the material benefits of doing so are so limited,” said Charles Dunst, a member of the Asia-based business advisory group. “Beijing would clearly prefer to remain largely neutral while rhetorically defending Russia in some way, and then move China to a position of peace in a multilateral agreement if the situation is to be calmed.”