China will not be joining in sanctions by the West against Russia, the country’s banking and insurance regulator announced.
“As far as financial sanctions are concerned, we do not approve of these, especially the unilaterally launched sanctions because they do not work well and have no legal grounds,” Guo Shuqing, chairperson of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, told a news conference.
“We will not participate in such sanctions. We will continue to maintain normal economic and trade exchanges with relevant parties,” he said.
China and Russia have grown increasingly close in recent years, including as trading partners. Total trade between the two jumped 35.9 per cent last year to a record $146.9 billion, according to Chinese customs data, with Russia serving as a major source of oil, gas, coal and agriculture commodities, running a trade surplus with China.
“The impact from the sanctions on China’s economy and financial sector is so far not too significant,” Guo added.
“Overall they will not have much impact [on China] even in the future,” Guo said, citing the resilience of China’s economy and financial sector.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has refused to call Russia’s attack on Ukraine an invasion. Beijing’s line has been to promote negotiations, as China tries to position itself further away from Russia than was portrayed in early February during a high-profile meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.