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Beijing bristles as Chinese companies could face sanctions for Russia assistance: report

The European Union (EU) will look to impose sanctions on Chinese companies guilty of assisting Russia in its invasion of Ukraine, which Beijing has blasted as ‘illegal sanctions.’ 

‘We are aware of the relevant reports,’ China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote in a statement. ‘China firmly opposes illegal sanctions or ‘long-arm jurisdiction’ against China on the grounds of cooperation between China and Russia.’

‘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,’ the ministry insisted, adding that the government will ‘take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.’ 

European officials have pushed for harder sanctions against Chinese companies, with proposals to apply the strictest punishments against around two dozen companies that allegedly have assisted Russia since it commenced the invasion of Ukraine. 

‘Russia is straining every sinew to get around our sanctions, but we need to do more,’ one source told The Guardian regarding the push. ‘We need to shut down loopholes, target circumvention routes, drive down revenues further.’

China has faced accusations since the start of the invasion of serving as backdoor access for Russia to resist the immense strain of sanctions from the U.S. and Europe: Beijing in February 2022 agreed to buy 100 million tons of coal from Moscow, effectively providing a lifeline to Russia. 

Politico reported that a think tank’s sanctions team found that companies in China and Hong Kong now play the role of the ‘most important intermediaries’ for the shipment of battlefield technology to Russia – all subject to Western sanctions. 

Some European member states, such as Germany, have urged against going after third countries who help Russia, but the new proposal would only sanction particular companies rather than the countries in which the companies reside. 

The E.U. in the latest proposal will look particularly at where Russia sources technology, allegedly often acquiring it from ally nations who have bought it from countries like China. The sanctions would also hit companies based in Turkey, India, Thailand and Sri Lanka. 

The companies acquire the parts needed for Russia to produce drones, tanks and guided missiles, including microelectronics and ball bearings produced in E.U. member states, and then sell them to countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Serbia, Kazakhstan and China, who then sell them on to Russia. 

Should the proposal pass, it would present another step in the increasingly fragile relations between China and Europe. E.U. members supported a plan proposed in the summer of 2023 that would seek to source vital minerals and resources from non-Chinese sources. In response, Beijing canceled a summit with European officials. 

China and Russia have pledged to maintain their ‘no-limits partnership’ and ‘close personal interaction’ ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s planned trip to Beijing later this year, Voice of America reported. 

‘Putin’s visit to China [this year] will definitely take place, [and] China looks forward to his arrival,’ Chinese Ambassador to Russia Zhang Hanhui told Russian state media outlet Sputnik last week. 

On a February 8 call, Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping praised their cooperation in various sectors while slamming ‘U.S. interference in other countries’ affairs.’ 

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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