China protests US sanction list on Iran that hits Chinese firms

World Today

National flags of U.S. and China wave in front of an international hotel in Beijing February 4, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Lee

China has lodged representations to the United States over the latest sanctions against Iran which involve Chinese companies and individuals.

The sanctions on 25 people and entities imposed on Friday by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, and came two days it had put Iran ‘on notice’ following a ballistic missile test.

Those affected by the sanctions cannot access the U.S. financial system or deal with U.S. companies, and are subject to secondary sanctions, meaning foreign companies and individuals are prohibited from dealing with them or risk being blacklisted by the United States.

The list includes two Chinese companies and three Chinese people, only one of whom the U.S. Treasury Department explicitly said was a Chinese citizen, a person called Qin Xianhua.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang made the remarks at a routine press briefing Monday.

“China always opposes any unilateral sanctions, especially when they harm the interests of a third party,” Lu said, adding such sanctions are “not helpful” to promoting mutual trust and solving global issues.

Executives of two Chinese companies included on the list said on Sunday they had only exported “normal” goods to the Middle Eastern country and didn’t consider they had done anything wrong.

China has close economic and diplomatic ties with Tehran, but was also instrumental in pushing through a landmark 2015 deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

Story compiled from Xinhua and Reuters.