China Undercuts Sanctions on Russia: Where Are the 'Consequences'?
by Judith Bergman - For the Gatestone Institute - April 4, 2022
"For China... the Ukrainian crisis provided a unique opportunity to increase its access to Russia's natural resources, particularly gas, gain contracts for infrastructure projects and new markets for Chinese technology, and turn Russia into a junior partner in the relationship between the two countries." — Report by the European Council on Foreign Relations, February 2015.
In addition to undermining sanctions through the commodities trade, China is possibly also helping Russia hide its money.
Despite all of the above, the Biden administration continues to talk about China as if proof were still needed that it is undercutting sanctions on Russia.
China has clearly been giving material help to Russia. So where are the "consequences"?
The closest that the U.S. has come to going beyond words is the announcement, along with other G7 leaders, of an "enforcement initiative" to prevent Russia from evading sanctions, but it is -- presumably deliberately -- unclear what that initiative actually entails.
"The trade and the purchase of long-term energy supplies undercut the sanctions, because it shows Putin he has got somebody in his corner for the next five years or more." — Michael Pillsbury, author of The Hundred-Year Marathon, Fox News, March 21, 2022.
The Biden administration, by repeatedly threatening "consequences" and issuing "warnings" to China, "if" it helps Russia undercut sanctions, merely continues to project indecision, weakness and lack of leadership ...[and] will only result in the additional loss of credibility and the further degradation of U.S. deterrence to the detriment of the West.
Despite tough Western sanctions on Russia, President Vladimir Putin's war on Ukraine has now lasted for more than a month and Putin is showing no signs of backing down. The power helping him to withstand the effects of the sanctions and continue the war is Russia's most powerful ally -- China.
Shortly before Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Russia and China entered into contracts worth hundreds of billions of dollars. On February 4, Putin announced new Russian oil and gas deals with China worth an estimated $117.5 billion. On February 18, six days before the invasion, Russia announced a $20 billion deal to sell 100 million tons of coal to China.
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Despite tough Western sanctions on Russia, President Vladimir Putin's war on Ukraine has now lasted for more than a month and Putin is showing no signs of backing down. The power helping him to withstand the effects of the sanctions and continue the war is Russia's most powerful ally -- China. Pictured: Putin meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Moscow on June 5, 2019. (Image source: kremlin.ru)