After urging ceasefire talks between Ukraine and Russia, China on Wednesday announced that it would not join the West in imposing sanctions on Russia.
The announcement was made by China’s banking and insurance regulator Guo Shuqing during a press briefing on Wednesday.
"Everyone is watching recent military conflict, or war, between Russia and Ukraine," Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said during a press conference in Mandarin.
"China’s position has been stated clearly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Our international policies are consistent.” “Regarding financial sanctions, we do not support that,” said Guo, noting particular opposition to “unilateral” sanctions, which he said don’t effectively address problems. “China won’t join such sanctions.“
Guo also happens to be the CCP's secretary of the People’s Bank of China, the PRC's central bank. He added on Wednesday that he hopes all sides will maintain 'normal economic exchanges' and insisted that the sanctions have had no apparent impact on China so far.
Here's more on his comments, courtesy of the Global Times:
"As far as financial sanctions are concerned, we are not in favor of such unilaterally initiated sanctions, because they are not effective and have no legal basis," Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said during a press conference held at the State Council Information Office.
Guo stressed that his agency will not participate in such sanctions and will continue to maintain normal economic and trade exchanges with relevant parties.
Talking about the potential disruption that Western financial sanctions against Russia could inflict on the Chinese economy, Guo said that "it does not seem to be too obvious at the moment and needs to be further observed.
Generally speaking, it will not have much an impact, since our economy and our financial system are very stable and resilient," Guo said.
Guo isn't the only CCP official to rebuke the West over its treatment of both Russia and China during the Ukraine crisis.
The West demanded China to stand on their side and sanction Russia. Russia of course also wants to get public support from China, but it hasn’t made such a request. The West needs to learn to respect China, which is powerful but different from them.— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) March 1, 2022
Since the start of the conflict, Beijing has insisted on promoting dialogue between the two sides. As we noted yesterday, Beijing has claimed that it's "extremely concerned" about civilian casualties in Ukraine. Ukraine, meanwhile, has begged China to pressure Russia to stop the war.
However, so far, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has refused to even characterize Russia’s attack on Ukraine an invasion.
Instead, Beijing has chosen to promote negotiations as China tries to distance itself from Russia than was portrayed in early February during a high-profile meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The US, UK and Europe have slapped onerous sanctions on Russia, but their efforts have so far failed to target Russia's energy business, which is responsible for exporting much of the oil and natural gas that European nations like Germany use to provide heat to their populations.
As the death toll mounts, The UN human rights office said Tuesday that at least 136 Ukrainian civilians had been killed by Russian forces, including 13 children.