China opposes new US sanctions

China opposes new US sanctions

China opposes the new US law to toughen sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"The Chinese side consistently oppose unilateral sanctions," TASS cited the document as saying.

The statement says that Beijing "favors settlement of inter-state differences through mutual respect and equal dialogue."

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump signed the bill envisioning tougher sanctions against Russia, Iran and the DPRK. The US Congress passed the document overwhelmingly last week. Trump said in a statement on the occasion of signing of the law the document was flawed and some of its provisions stood at variance with the US Constitution.

The Director of the Center for Studies of Eastern Asia and the SCO of the Institute for International Studies of MGIMO, Alexander Lukin, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, said that Beijing always opposes any sanctions, regarding them as a sign of international pressure. The expert noted that the US bill does not affect China's interests directly. "Rather, the part that is directed against North Korea concerns Beijing, because China exports different goods to the DPRK, and some Chinese companies may be sanctioned for cooperation with North Korea," he explained.

The expert stressed that Russia is also China's strategic partner, so the statement of the Foreign Ministry of the People's Republic of China is not surprising.

"In addition, China is in principle dissatisfied with such foreign policy of the US Such a course of America brings together all those who suffer from sanctions, including Russia and China," the Director of the Center for Studies of Eastern Asia and the SCO of the Institute for International Studies of MGIMO noted.

Speaking about the possible support of Beijing, the expert said that a number of articles appeared in the Chinese press, which mentioned economic measures to support Moscow. "In particular, the Chinese Global Times published an article on support in the banking sector. As a whole, Russia's relations with China are developing normally even without sanctions. I think that this further stimulates cooperation under sanctions," he drew attention.

The political scientist recalled that the new sanctions also cut the loan time-frame for Russian banks. "If Chinese banks start to provide loans to Russian companies and banks on a broader scale, it will be a real help. For example, now we are creating a common payment system - joint cards of MIR and the Chinese Unionpay system will be issued. We can pay using MIR only in Russia, but it is possible to pay with Unionpay in many places in the world," Alexander Lukin added.

The Deputy Director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies of Moscow State University, Andrey Korneev, also drew attention to the fact that for the last two months the US media has been speculating on the need to impose sanctions against China. "Donald Trump's post on Twitter also played a role when he wrote that China does not really help in pressing North Korea. So there is a situation that imposing of sanctions against China cannot be ruled out. But I think they will not be as comprehensive, and will be directed against individual Chinese companies. But China is extremely sensitive to even theoretical possibility of this," he said.

The expert recalled that they always associate China with North Korea. "The idea that China is the only country capable of influencing the DPRK, taking advantage of its almost monopoly position as a trading partner, is constantly being discussed. Of course it causes nervousness among the Chinese leadership and the desire to warn the US that it will be extremely negatively received in China," the Deputy Director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies of Moscow State University explained.

According to him, Moscow can rely on Beijing's support, as Russia and China have similar approaches in many respects. "Neither we nor Beijing accept the language of ultimatums and sanctions. Both Russia and the DPRK understand that one should not agree on the pressure of this kind of sanctions, because  it will provoke political forces to try imposing even more brazen actions," the expert noted.

"Of course, difficulties always unite parties. But the Russian-Chinese partnership has its own dynamics without it. It is based on the fact that we are neighbors with a huge border, that we have a huge cooperation potential that can be increased in all spheres - starting from economy to humanitarian areas," Andrei Korneev concluded.