The European Union (EU) is set to impose sanctions on three Chinese companies due to their ties with Russia, marking the first time the bloc has sanctioned Chinese and Indian businesses since the invasion of Ukraine. This move comes as the EU is also considering measures against companies based in Hong Kong, India, Serbia, and Turkey for their alleged support of Russia.
According to reports by Bloomberg and the Financial Times, the EU wants to sanction three Chinese companies and is also evaluating firms based in Hong Kong, India, Serbia, and Turkey for their alleged support of Russia. The draft proposal, which has not yet been made public, would ban companies from doing business with the listed parties that the EU believes could be aiding Russia in its war in Ukraine.
The EU’s decision to impose restrictions on Chinese and Indian businesses comes after member states voted through a plan that would mark the first time that the trading bloc has imposed restrictions on these countries since Russia invaded its neighbor in February 2022. In response to this invasion, the EU rushed to sanction Moscow alongside other Western countries such as the US. Over two years later, the EU has implemented 12 sanctions packages against Moscow alone.
During her visit to Beijing in April 2023, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen warned China’s leader Xi Jinping not to support Russia’s war efforts. She emphasized China’s crucial role in resolving the conflict and expressed her expectation that China would not provide any military equipment directly or indirectly to Russia. Von der Leyen stressed that arming an aggressor was against international law and could significantly harm China’s relationship with Europe.
In summary, this move by the EU marks a significant shift in its stance towards China and its willingness to take action against companies connected with Russian aggression.