Despite outrage by other countries leading to stiff sanctions and other financial punishments levied against Russia and Vladimir Putin for his unprovoked attack on neighboring Ukrainian, China says it will continue to trade as usual with Russia.
The Asian economic superpower said it would not consider sanctioning Russia for its illegal invasion of Ukraine and said it will continue with “normal trade cooperation.”
And China abstained during a United Nations General Assembly vote Wednesday on a nonbinding resolution calling on Russia to halt its war on Ukraine and withdraw its military forces. Just five nations opposed the resolution – Russia, Belarus, Eritrea, North Korea, and Syria – which passed with 141 aye votes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a “special military operation” last week, and Ukraine has endured seven days of brutal fighting that has resulted in the death of roughly 2,000 Ukrainians and 5,000 Russian soldiers, according to Ukraine’s State Emergency Service.
In response to the deadly invasion, the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and dozens of European nations slapped severe sanctions on Russian banks, businesses, Putin, and other elite members of Russia’s government and society.
But despite its repeated claims that it respects a state’s sovereignty, China has refused to outright condemn Russian aggression or institute sanctions.
“China firmly opposes all illegal unilateral sanctions and believes that sanctions are never fundamentally effective means to solve problems,” a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry Wang Webin said in a statement to the press. “They will only create serious difficulties to the economy and livelihood of relevant countries and further intensify division and confrontation.”
“China and Russia will continue to conduct normal trade cooperation in the spirit of mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefit,” he added.
A resolution put forward by the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council condemning Russia’s illegal invasion failed to pass Friday after Russia vetoed the measure and China abstained from voting.
The UN then held a rare emergency special session of the full 193-member UN General Assembly Wednesday – a meeting that has not been called in 40 years – where the resolution passed.