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China dismisses Washington’s threat of ‘consequences’

Beijing has vowed to safeguard its interests and ties with Moscow following a warning from US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen

Beijing has dismissed a warning from Washington to Chinese companies that allegedly support the Russian military amid its conflict with Ukraine. China will resolutely protect its interests from “foreign interference,” the Foreign Ministry has said in response.

Over the weekend, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen threatened Chinese firms with “significant consequences” if they “provide material support for Russia’s war against Ukraine.”

Yellen’s warning came as anonymous US officials told Bloomberg that Chinese companies were supplying microelectronics and machine tools to Russia to produce tanks, as well as optics and propellants for use in missiles.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning responded to Yellen’s statement during a press conference on Monday.

“China-Russia relations should not be attacked or smeared, and the legitimate rights and interests of China and Chinese companies should not be harmed,” Mao said. “China will take resolute measures to safeguard our legitimate rights and interests.”

The comments come as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Beijing on Monday for a two-day visit.

”The normal cooperation between China and Russia should not be subject to foreign interference or restriction,” Mao added in response to a follow-up question regarding Washington’s warning to Beijing over its ties with Moscow.

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American officials have repeatedly warned Chinese companies against doing business with the Russian military since Moscow began its operation in Ukraine in 2022. Moscow and Beijing have repeatedly denied American claims that the Russian military has bought ammunition and ‘dual-use’ technology (with both military and civilian applications) from China.

According to Mao, Beijing is “committed to playing a constructive role in promoting ceasefire and political settlement of the crisis” between Moscow and Kiev.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have deepened their military and diplomatic cooperation over the past two years, with both leaders declaring a “no limits” partnership in February 2022. That partnership has seen Russia become China’s largest supplier of oil, while the Russian space agency Roscosmos announced last month that it could work with China to build an automated nuclear reactor on the Moon by 2035.

 

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