China has called on the United States to lift sanctions against Russia, claiming it will help resolve Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that the U.S. should stop threatening Moscow with sanctions if they wanted to see progress in Russia-Ukraine peace talks.
“If the United States is truly interested in resolving the Ukrainian crisis, they should stop brandishing the sanctions card,” Zhao said at a briefing Wednesday.
Zhao has previously criticized the West’s decision to impose sanctions on Russia, stating that China “always opposes unilateral sanctions.” Another spokesperson from the Chinese Foreign Ministry accused the U.S. of “profiting from the chaos” of the ongoing war.
The White House announced on Wednesday that Washington, the G7 and the European Union are readying another round of sanctions targeting Russian banks and officials. They will also ban new investment in Russia.
The move is a response to continued shelling of cities Mariupol and Kharkhiv, as well as civilian killings in the formerly Russian-occupied town of Bucha — acts that Kyiv and its allies have called war crimes by Russian forces.
Despite calls from Ukrainian officials, China has repeatedly refused to condemn Russia’s offensive on its pro-Western neighbor, instead seeking to preserve trade links and hosting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last week.
But in his comments on Wednesday, Zhao called the reports of civilian deaths in Bucha “deeply disturbing.”