Beijing is now also interested in new economic opportunities in Russia. The ambassador in Moscow, for example, urges Chinese businessmen to seize opportunities and fill vacancies in Western companies.
“The international situation is difficult. Large companies are facing challenges or disruptions in the payment and supply chains,” says Ambassador to the Russian Federation Zhang Chanhui. “Private, small and medium enterprises can play a role at the moment,” he added.
Although leader Xi Jinping has condemned the sanctions against Russia, large publicly traded Chinese companies are complying with them. According to analysts, not even small businesses will engage in trade with Russia.
“Small companies take this message, but they will be reluctant to see the participation of large companies backed by China,” explains Alicia Garcia-Herrier, chief economist at Natixis SA for Asia Pacific.
help small banks
The Chinese government is now also looking at ways to cope with logistical and payment problems. Major banks have stopped financing Russian energy purchases, but small banks, which have limited relations with foreign countries, do not affect them.
They also record the interest of Russian companies to open accounts. After cutting off Visa and Master, Russian banks are exploring the possibility of issuing credit cards in the Chinese UnionPay system.
Possible exclusion from the G20
Beijing also defends Russia against possible exclusion from the G-20. “The G20 is a platform for international economic cooperation that includes the world’s largest economies. Russia is an important member and no member has the right to exclude other countries,” said Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
However, an alliance with Moscow does not make economic sense for China. Trade with Russia last year was 3.8 percent, while with the European Union, the United States and Japan 52 percent. In addition, China relies on advanced Western technologies, especially electronic chips, and large companies cannot be cut off from the dollar.
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