For the first time, the Chinese government has explicitly denied trying to circumvent Western sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine. “We are not doing anything deliberately to circumvent the sanctions imposed on Russia by the Americans and Europeans,” China’s Foreign Ministry director general Wang Lutong said at a news conference on Saturday. However, he criticized the sanctions.
“We are against sanctions and the impact of these sanctions could spill over to the rest of the world,” Wang said. He demanded that China’s normal trade with Moscow “shall not be affected”. For the benefit of the global economy, it must be a matter of “avoiding possible disruption of supply and industrial chains”.
EU warns against evasion
During a virtual EU summit with China on Friday, representatives from Brussels warned Beijing not to support Russia in evading Western sanctions. The Beijing leadership has not yet condemned the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. Externally, China offers itself as a neutral mediator, but the state media largely follows the Russian line and mainly criticizes the US and NATO.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also called on Beijing to use its influence over Moscow to end the war in Ukraine. Russia and China have recently repeatedly emphasized their close cooperation. During a visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to China on Wednesday, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said “Sino-Russian cooperation” is “boundless”.
The representative of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang, warned on Saturday not to overestimate China’s role. “The key to this problem is not in the hands of China, but in Washington and Brussels.” It is about European security and “it is up to Europeans to solve the problem.”
I’m Wayne Wickman, a professional journalist and author for Today Times Live. My specialty is covering global news and current events, offering readers a unique perspective on the world’s most pressing issues. I’m passionate about storytelling and helping people stay informed on the goings-on of our planet.