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China vows countermeasures if EU imposes sanctions on firms

Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Wang Wenbin

China says it will implement countermeasures against the European Union (EU) if the bloc imposes sanctions on Chinese companies over alleged assistance to Russia in the Ukraine war, urging the EU to avoid taking the "wrong path."

Later this week, the EU member states will discuss a new package of sanctions, a copy of which was seen by the Financial Times (FT) on Sunday. It intends to levy punitive measures against seven Chinese businesses accused of helping Russia with equipment that could be used in the war.

On Monday, Beijing issued a firm response.

China said it was against any behavior that relied on ties between China and Russia as a pretext for damaging trade cooperation. "If media reports turn out to be true, such actions by the European side will seriously undermine mutual trust and cooperation between the EU and China," said Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Wang Wenbin.

"The European side should not make a mistake, otherwise Beijing will be forced to resolutely protect its rationally justified legal rights," he warned, when asked about the new package of sanctions against seven Chinese firms as reported by the FT.

The sanctions list includes two mainland Chinese companies, 3HC Semiconductors and King-Pai Technology, along with five from Hong Kong, including Sinno Electronics, Sigma Technology, Asia Pacific Links, Tordan Industry and Alpha Trading Investments.

Russia began the war on February 24, 2022 to "de-Nazify" the country and to counter what it described as the threat of the ex-Soviet republic joining NATO. Kiev and its allies, however, say they were baseless pretexts for imperial ambitions.

Since the onset of the war, the United States and Ukraine's other allies have sent Kiev tens of billions of dollars' worth of weapons, including rocket systems, drones, armored vehicles, tanks, and communication systems.

China has blamed the US and NATO for “provoking” Moscow into the war, and has condemned Western sanctions against Russia. Beijing has also said it is ready to boost cooperation with the Russian military in order to jointly uphold international justice, peace and security.

Russia has in turn strongly backed China amid recent tensions between Beijing and Washington over the US political and military interference in Taiwan.

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