China says will closely follow up on EU discussions on sanctions against Russia

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China will closely follow the progress of European Union discussions on an 11th tranche of sanctions against Russia that could result in trade restrictions with China, Shu Jueting, a commerce ministry spokesperson, said on Thursday.

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The EU’s executive European Commission for the first time has proposed a tool to limit trade with third countries deemed to be bypassing sanctions already in place.

“China firmly opposes unilateral sanctions that have no basis in international law and are not authorized by the Security Council as well as long-arm jurisdiction,” Shu said, calling on the EU to “act prudently and to not set a bad precedent.”

Germany has raised concerns within the bloc over targeting China under the new measures, with the proposal including the blacklisting of several Chinese companies and the introduction of a mechanism that could pave the way to a restriction of EU exports to countries that sidestep the measures.

Some of the Chinese companies reportedly on the EU’s proposed list, such as King-Pai Technology, an electronics manufacturer, have already been placed under sanctions by the United States, which said it was a China-based supplier for multiple entities in Russia’s military-industrial complex.

The Dutch and Polish prime ministers gave a joint press conference in The Hague on Wednesday setting out how one of the focal points of the new measures was sanctions circumvention.

“China will firmly safeguard the rights of Chinese enterprises to conduct normal trade,” Shu said.

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