Russia is a major source of oil, gas, coal, and agricultural commodities for China. In January-February, China’s exports to Russia and imports from it rose 41.5% and 35.8%, respectively. Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, an intervention Moscow described as a “special military operation” designed to demilitarise and “denazify” its southern neighbor. Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance and Western countries and their allies have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.
As China’s northern neighbour dealt with economic sanctions, Chinese exports to Russia decreased for the second month in a row in April, while Russian shipments to China increased, providing relief to hard-hit Russian enterprises suffering international economic isolation. According to Reuters calculations based on customs data released on Monday, shipments to Russia plunged 25.9% in dollar terms in April from a year earlier, worsening from a 7.7% drop the previous month. Imports from Russia, on the other hand, increased 56.6 percent in April, compared to 26.4 percent in March.
China has declined to call Russia’s action an invasion and has repeatedly said its trade with Russia remains normal. However, some Chinese firms are suspending sales in Russia. Drone giant DJI Technology Co said it would temporarily suspend business in Russia and Ukraine to ensure its products are not used in combat.
China’s commerce ministry has noted that some foreign companies have forced their Chinese partners to pick a side in the Ukraine conflict, adding that Chinese firms and individuals cannot succumb to outside pressure and publicize improper comments. China will take necessary measures to safeguard the interests of its firms, it added.
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