Beijing: Under the shed of its so-called friendship with Moscow, China is increasing purchases of oil from Russia at bargain prices, CNBC reported citing UK media.
This comes after it initially cut back on Russian supplies, for fear of appearing to openly support Moscow and potentially expose its state oil giants to sanctions.
Protecting the country’s overseas assets from US-led sanctions, China has chosen to break Russia’s trust by cutting its payment services, space ties and suspending scientific cooperation amid the war in Ukraine.
In an emergency meeting with domestic and foreign banks, Chinese regulators mooted how they protect the country’s overseas assets from US-led sanctions similar to those imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, reported The Hong Kong Post.
As per the US sanctions on Russia amid the Ukraine war, Visa and Mastercard said that they would cut their services in Russia. In view of this, Russia’s leading banks had begun looking into issuing cards that operate on a Chinese payment system.
Meanwhile, Russia’s gross domestic product is just one-tenth of China’s and the power balance between the two nations is far more than equal.
Russia sends about 15 per cent of its exports to China, while relying on its neighbour for around 23 per cent of its imports, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity, an American research group.
China’s support to Russia in opposition to the enlargement of NATO has given rise to concerns in the Eastern and Central European countries about the reliability of the Asian giant as a partner and whether it can be counted on.