China’s Foreign Ministry accused the U.S. of “outright bullying” Monday after several Chinese companies were hit with sanctions for their ties to human rights abuses in Ukraine and Africa.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning argued the U.S. sanctions were “illegal,” claiming that U.S. lethal aid to Ukraine was no different from China supporting Russian forces. The U.S. sanctions are designed to target the Russian Wagner Group, a mercenary organization, but China argued the impacts on its companies “have no basis in international law or authorization from the Security Council, and are typical illegal unilateral sanctions.”
“While the U.S. has intensified its efforts to send weapons to one of the parties to the conflict, resulting in an endless war, it has frequently spread false information about China’s supply of weapons to Russia, taking the opportunity to sanction Chinese companies for no reason,” she said. “This is outright bullying and double standards.”
The U.S. sanctions hit the Changsha Tianyi Space Science and Technology Research Institute, which allegedly provided satellite imagery of Ukraine to the Wagner Group.
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The sanctions come as U.S. officials warn that China is considering sending lethal aid to Russian forces in Ukraine. Reports suggest China may soon deliver artillery shells to replenish Russia’s dwindling stores.
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Both Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned Russia against providing such aid on Sunday, though China has bristled at the statements.
“The U.S. is in no position to tell China what to do.” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin said last week. “It is the U.S. not China, that has been pouring weapons into the battlefield. The U.S. is in no position to tell China what to do. We would never stand for finger-pointing, or even coercion and pressurizing from the U.S. on our relations with Russia.“
A new Fox News poll released on Sunday found that 68% of Americans think China is a “major threat” to the U.S. and another 26% see the country as a “minor” threat. Only 6% believe China poses no threat to the U.S.