China opposes illegal unilateral sanctions, maintaining normal trade with Russia
Published: Mar 02, 2022 08:23 PM
Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry. Photo: CFP

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry. Photo: CFP

Click here to stay tuned with our live updates on Ukraine tensions. 
China resolutely opposes the use of illegal unilateral sanctions, given the fact that they are not an effective way to solve problems, but bring difficulties to people's livelihood while aggravating divisions and confrontation, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference on Wednesday.

The Ukraine conflict has led to widening sanctions by the EU and the US, ranging from excluding Russia from the SWIFT interbank communication system to banning Russian aircraft from entering their airspace. The moves boosted global complexity while pushing Russia to launch retaliatory countermeasures.

Wang reiterated China's resolute opposition to the widening sanctions against Russia, while demanding the relevant parties not harm the legitimate rights and interests of China and other parties when handling the Ukraine crisis and their relations with Russia.

"China and Russia will continue to carry out normal trade cooperation in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit," Wang said, in responding to media questions about whether China will continue to buy Russian natural gas.

China-Russia bilateral trade exceeded $140 billion in 2021, a historic high, data from the General Administration of Customs showed, an important pillar in stabilizing the economic recovery of the region and the world.

On the same day, China's banking and insurance regulator responded to media questions about its strong opposition to sanctions against Russia.

"As far as financial sanctions are concerned, we are not in favor of such unilaterally initiated sanctions, because they are not effective and have no legal basis," Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said during a press conference held at the State Council Information Office.

Guo stressed that his agency will not participate in such sanctions and will continue to maintain normal economic and trade exchanges with relevant parties. 

Talking about the potential disruption that Western financial sanctions against Russia could inflict on the Chinese economy, Guo said that "it does not seem to be too obvious at the moment and needs to be further observed."

"Generally speaking, it will not have much an impact, since our economy and our financial system are very stable and resilient," Guo said.

Global Times