The European Union’s executive has proposed blacklisting several Chinese companies and curbing exports to nations seen as involved in bypassing Russia trade restrictions under new sanctions against Moscow for the war against Ukraine.
The 27 EU member countries – which must all agree for new sanctions to be enacted – will have a first discussion tomorrow on the proposal by the European Commission’s foreign policy unit, several diplomatic sources said yesterday.
The proposal focuses on combating circumvention of existing trade restrictions through third countries, the sources said, after the EU identified China, Turkey, UAE, as well as countries in central Asia and the Caucasus as potential culprits.
Seven companies in China would be subject to an asset freeze in the EU, said diplomats familiar with the proposal, in what would be a first for the bloc to punish China over accusations of Beijing’s role in Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Yesterday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said China was urging the EU not to take the “wrong path”, and that it was prepared to take action to safeguard its rights and interests.
“China opposes actions that use China-Russia co-operation as a pretext to impose illegal sanctions or long-arm jurisdiction against China,” Wang said at a regular news conference.
The Financial Times reported earlier on Monday the companies involved were 3HC Semiconductors and King-Pai Technology based in mainland China, as well as Sinno Electronics, Sigma Technology, Asia Pacific Links, Tordan Industry and Alpha Trading Investments in Hong Kong.
A spokesman for the European Commission yesterday confirmed the proposal was sent out to member states and aimed at closing loopholes in Russia trade restrictions but declined to give detail.
The bloc might also expand its list of goods barred from road transit through Russia as it tries to starve Moscow of technology used in the battlefield against Ukraine, according to the sources.
Among those added to the blacklist would also be individuals deemed involved in deporting Ukrainian children and moving cultural goods to Russia from the war zone in Ukraine, the sources said. In what would be the EU’s 11th package of sanctions against Russia since it invaded Ukraine in February, 2022, the bloc would introduce a new mechanism to cut its exports to third countries seen as involved in bypassing Russia sanctions.