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US Warns Chinese Companies Against Evading Russia Sanctions

Western countries say invasion of Ukraine would result in sanctions and Washington officials say they are ready to impose financial penalties and export-control measures

Bilateral trade between China and Russia continues to be strong, the latest data released by China shows.
Chinese exports to Russia jumped in July after several months of declines. This file photo by AFP shows Russian leader Vladimir Putin, left, meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in 2018.


The US on Thursday warned Chinese companies they would face consequences if they sought to evade any export controls imposed on Moscow in the event of Russia invading Ukraine.

State Department spokesman Ned Price made the remark after China’s Foreign Ministry said Beijing and Moscow had coordinated their positions on Ukraine.

“We have an array of tools that we can deploy if we see foreign companies, including those in China, doing their best to backfill US export control actions, to evade them, to get around them,” Price told a regular news briefing.

Western countries say any invasion of Ukraine by Russia would bring sanctions on Moscow and Washington has said it is prepared to impose financial sanctions as well as export-control measures.

White House national security official Peter Harrell said on Wednesday that Washington was working on the export-control measures with allies in Asia, including Japan and South Korea.

Price said Russia should know that a closer relationship with Beijing would not make up for the consequences imposed in response to an invasion.

“If Russia thinks that it will be in a position … to mitigate some of those consequences by a closer relationship with China, that is not the case. It will actually make the Russian economy, in many ways, more brittle,” he said.

‘Degrade Productive Capacity’

“If you deny yourself the ability to transact with the West, to import with the West, from Europe, from the United States, you are going to significantly degrade your productive capacity and your innovative potential.”

Price said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had an extended discussion on potential implications of Russian action against Ukraine in a phone call last week.

China’s Foreign Ministry said Wang met with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and expressed “understanding and support” for Russia’s position on security regarding Russia’s relationship with the US and NATO.

It said both sides coordinated their positions on regional issues of common concern, such as Ukraine, Afghanistan and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

The United Nations Security Council is due to meet on Friday at the request of the US and Britain after North Korea’s launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile last weekend.


  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell





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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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