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China’s Xi opposes use of economic sanctions

China has been careful in assisting Moscow amid Western sanctions on Russia.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated China’s opposition to unilateral sanctions and “long-arm jurisdiction” in a speech on Thursday, without directly mentioning the West’s punitive actions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

China has repeatedly criticised western sanctions, including those against Russia, but it has also been careful not to provide assistance to Moscow that could lead to sanctions being imposed on Beijing.

Delivering a video speech to the annual Boao Forum for Asia gathering on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, Xi warned that economic “de-coupling” and pressure tactics such as severing supply chains would not work.

Read more: Russia, China reject ‘unilateral’ sanctions by US

“China would like to put forward a global security initiative” that upholds “the principle of indivisibility of security,” Xi said.

“We should uphold the principle of indivisibility of security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose the building of national security on the basis of insecurity in other countries.”

Russia has insisted that Western governments respect a 1999 agreement based on the principle of “indivisible security” that no country can strengthen its own security at the expense of others.

China and Russia have grown increasingly close, and China has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special operation”. China has blamed the Ukraine crisis on NATO’s eastward expansion.

Xi said efforts are needed to stabilise global supply chains, but also said China’s economy is resilient and that its long-term trend had not changed.

Read more: Russia and China slam Western sanctions on Moscow as “illegal”

China’s economy is facing headwinds from the impact of its aggressive efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19, especially in its economic hub of Shanghai. Xi did not mention China’s COVID crisis during the speech.

Reuters with additional input by GVS News Desk