China opposes sanctions, will continue normal trade cooperation with Russia: Foreign Ministry
Published: Feb 28, 2022 06:32 PM
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin. Photo: VCG

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin. Photo: VCG

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The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday that China opposes illegal unilateral sanctions and will continue to carry out normal trade cooperation with Russia, following a move by the US and some of its allies to remove certain Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank telecommunication system.

Asked about what some have described as the "financial nuclear option" at a regular press briefing in Beijing, Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the ministry, said that China opposes the use of sanctions to solve problems and is even more opposed to unilateral sanctions that have no basis in international law. 

"China and Russia will continue to carry out normal trade cooperation in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit," Wang said.

On Saturday, US time, the White House announced that the US, joined by some European nations and Canada, will remove certain Russian banks from SWIFT, the payment system used for most international financial transactions.

Observers have described the move as "unprecedentedly severe," but is unlikely to deal a fatal blow against Russia, not only because of the latter's long preparation but also its hard-to-replace economic value to the West, particularly Europe.

China has repeatedly expressed opposition to the use of economic sanctions. On Monday, Wang added that it has long been proved that sanctions, far from solving problems, only create new ones, while warning the US against undermining China's and others' interests in dealing with the Ukraine situation. 

"We also demand that the US side should not harm the legitimate rights and interests of China and other parties when handling the Ukraine issue and its relations with Russia," Wang said at the press conference, when asked about whether Chinese companies such as Huawei and Xiaomi comply with US sanctions on Russia and stop supplies to the country.
Global Times