China warned the European Union (EU) on Tuesday about the possibility of imposing sanctions against Chinese businesses over the country’s relationship with Russia.
Qin Gang, China’s foreign minister, says the country will not hesitate to take steps to protect its business interests.
Belgium it this week proposed to the EU to introduce another round of sanctions against Russia. One of the focal points for the EU is closing loopholes in sanctions already imposed against Russia.
As part of the package, the EU’s chief executives recommended, among other things, that the export of sensitive technology to eight Chinese companies be stopped, due to suspicions that they are reselling it to Russia.
EU ambassadors are meeting on Wednesday to discuss the latest proposals on sanctions.
In response to the proposals, Qin said that Chinese and Russian companies enjoy a “normal exchange and cooperation relationship” which therefore “should not be affected” by sanctions.
“China will do what is necessary to protect the legitimate interests of Chinese companies.”
Qin met with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Tuesday and argued that China had always encouraged “peaceful dialogue” between Russia and Ukraine to end the war.
According to Qin, China will send a special delegation to Ukraine on the matter.
He also requested Germany to do more to insist on a ceasefire and peace negotiations.
However, Baerbock also insisted that China take a clear stance against Russia, and warned that neutrality in the war means that China sides with Russia.
“Neutrality means taking the side of the aggressor, and that’s why it is for us [Duitsland] important to make it clear that we are on the side of the victim [Oekraïne] is,” she said.
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