Chinese MFA: Western Sanctions Against Russia Are Increasingly 'Outrageous'

© AP Photo / Andy WongChinese national flag. (File)
Chinese national flag. (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.03.2022
Since the special military operation in Ukraine started last month, Russia has become the country with the largest number of sanctions imposed against it, overtaking Iran. While repeatedly denouncing the sanctions against Russia, China itself has faced threats of restrictions from the US if it refuses to condemn Moscow.
China's Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said on Saturday that the sanctions against Russia are "outrageous" and spoke against NATO's eastward expansion, according to Reuters.
“The sanctions against Russia are getting more and more outrageous", he said at a security forum in Beijing.
Le Yucheng added that Russian citizens were being deprived of overseas assets "for no reason".
"History has proven time and again that sanctions cannot solve problems. Sanctions will only harm ordinary people, impact the economic and financial system...and worsen the global economy", he stressed.
Like many other high-ranking Chinese officials, he acknowledged Moscow's concerns over NATO, saying the alliance should not expand further to the east, forcing a nuclear power like Russia "into a corner".

"This pursuit of absolute security (by NATO) precisely leads to absolute non-security", Le said. "The consequences of forcing a major power, especially a nuclear power, into a corner are even more unimaginable".

At the end of 2021, Russia published its main security demands for NATO, calling for legal guarantees of NATO's non-expansion eastward and Ukraine's non-participation in the alliance. Moscow also requested that NATO not establish military bases in post-Soviet countries. The proposals additionally contained a demand for non-deployment of NATO strike weapons near Russian borders and the withdrawal of the alliance's forces in Eastern Europe to its 1997 frontiers.
Soldiers raise a flag before the military parade to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) at Zhurihe military base in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, July 30, 2017 - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.03.2022
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Meanwhile, shortly before the publication of the Russian proposals, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated that Ukraine is a sovereign country that must determine its own future, and the decision of its accession to the alliance would only be made by its government and the 30 NATO member states.

China and Sanctions Pressure

Since the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February, over 2,700 new sanctions have been introduced against Moscow, nearly doubling the pre-existing number.
Despite China not having explicitly expressed its support for Russia, officials in Beijing have condemned the sanctions pressure imposed by Western countries, with Chinese officials noting that the Kremlin's security concerns over NATO's eastward expansion are justified and should be respected.
A Nike store in Russian mall - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.03.2022
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Earlier this week, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce Gao Feng noted that trade restrictions destabilise the world market, saying that Beijing is determined to "take the necessary measures and protect the legitimate rights and interests of its companies, engaged in ordinary trading activities".

"We are against any kind of unilateral sanctions that do not take into account international law", he said. "They destabilise the global market".

According to him, the restrictive measures undertaken against Russian businesses would not only "fail to resolve security problems, but can also have an extremely negative impact on consumers", which "creates additional difficulties for the global economy, which is undergoing a recession".

"China will continue regular trade and economic cooperation with both Russia and Ukraine", he stressed.

During a recent phone call between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the former warned his counterpart about the consequences that await China in case of support for Russia.
The assistance that Beijing can offer Moscow has been an object of concern in Washington, as China's ability to supply analogues of Western goods that have fallen under sanctions could minimise the negative effect of the restrictions. Apart from that, Russia and China were said to be mulling further financial cooperation that could include an increase of mutual payments in national currencies as a way to avoid the pressure that the dollar deficit puts on the Russian economy.
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