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China hits out at Ukraine over ‘sponsors of war’ list – Reuters

Beijing has warned of ‘negative impacts’ as Kiev continues to target businesses that deal with Russia

Beijing has demanded that Ukraine immediately remove all 14 Chinese companies from a list of businesses that Kiev has branded “international sponsors of war,” Reuters has reported. 

The demand comes after Beijing’s ambassador to Kiev told senior Ukrainian government officials last month that the presence of Chinese firms on the list could hurt bilateral ties, according to the news agency. 

“China firmly opposes the inclusion of Chinese enterprises [on the list]… and demands that Ukraine immediately correct its mistakes and eliminate negative impacts,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson told Reuters on Thursday.

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Of the 48 international companies on the Ukrainian blacklist, 14 are from China, the most of any other country.

“The ambassador said that [the blacklist] could have a negative impact on our relations,” a senior Ukrainian source told the news agency, adding that Beijing has not yet outlined any specific consequences.

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Kiev’s ‘International Sponsors of War’ project lists companies that still do business with Russia. While the list does not have legal implications, it aims to damage the reputation of businesses and push them into cutting ties with Russia, thus reducing Moscow’s “financial and technological ability.”

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In November, Kiev added Swiss food giant Nestle and German building materials giant Knauf to the blacklist for continuing to operate in Russia and pay taxes into the federal budget. Last month, Lithuanian seafood company Viciunai Group was also included on the list. Alibaba and Chinese energy giants China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group), and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) are some of the largest companies listed.


READ MORE: Ukraine brands EU seafood giant ‘sponsor of war’

China has not condemned Russia’s military operation against Ukraine, nor has it joined sanctions against Moscow. Beijing’s defense minister, Dong Jun, stated on Thursday that China’s support for Russia “on the Ukrainian issue” will continue “despite the fact that the US and the EU continue to put pressure on the Chinese side.” Russia and China consider themselves strategic partners, and two-way trade hit a record $240 billion in 2023 as economic ties continue to grow.

February 02, 2024 at 02:25PM
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