China: Business relations with occupied Crimea should not be "politicized"

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Canan Kevser
16 March 2021, 10:48
Canan Kevser
16 March 2021, 10:48

Trade activities with occupied Crimea should not be "politicized," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during a press conference on Monday.

According to the spokesperson, some Chinese companies conduct exchanges and cooperation with Crimea based on "market rules."

He added that China's position on the Crimea issue is "consistent" and expressed hope that "sides" could address the issue through dialogue. The diplomat made no comments on the illegal occupation of Ukraine's Crimea by Russia.

Answering a question of whether China changed its position towards Crimea, the Chinese spokesperson said such business operations should not be "politicized."

"Some Chinese companies, based on historically-established ties and practical needs, conduct exchanges and cooperation with Crimea on the basis of market principles. Such commercial activities should not be politicized," Lijian said.

Earlier, Member of the Ukrainian Parliament Vadim Rabinovich said that sending a business delegation to Crimea is China's reaction to the Ukrainian government's decision to nationalize aircraft engine manufacturer company Motor Sich, which is majority-owned by Chinese investors.

On March 11, Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council adopted a decision to return the Motor Sich enterprise to state ownership. 

On January 29, Ukraine imposed three-year restrictive measures on Chinese citizen Jing Wang and three Chinese-based companies for attempting to implement the rights of the shareholders of Public Joint Stock Company Motor Sich, who are currently on the sanctions list of Ukraine.

Background

Russia illegally occupied Ukraine's Crimea in 2014, causing strict rounds of sanctions from the U.S. and EU, which effectively bans firms from operating or investing there. Any Russian company active in Crimea faces being cut-off from the entire Western corporate and financial system, meaning most - including state-owned businesses.