China is Ukraine’s largest trading partner. Experts say a prolonged Russia-Ukraine war could put billions of dollars in trade between China and Ukraine at risk. In addition, the business of Chinese telecom giant Huawei will also be affected.
According to Voice of America on February 25, Dexter Roberts, former China bureau chief said that if Russia’s invasion continues, a three-year agreement signed by Chinese tech giant Huawei to install 4G wireless services in the Kyiv metro system will be put on hold, and a large number of agricultural transportation will slow down.
Russia began a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, Feb. 24. On Feb. 25, Chinese media reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping suggested Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia and Ukraine resolve their disputes through negotiations.
China Pacific Construction Group, also known as CPCG, signed an agreement in 2017 to build a subway line in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and Huawei, which helps Ukraine develop mobile networks, won a bid in 2019 to install a 4G network in the Kyiv metro.
Reuters reported that, according to data from the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, China surpassed Russia to become Ukraine’s largest single trading partner in 2019, with a total trading volume of 18.98 billion dollars in 2021, an increase of nearly 80% over 2013.
In the same article, the data shows that total exports of Ukraine to China in 2021 were 8 billion dollars, mainly in commodities such as iron ore, corn, and sunflower oil, while imports from China were primarily machinery and consumer goods, with a total of 10.97 billion dollars.
Also, in the 2020–2021 marketing year, China became the largest importer of Ukrainian barley. Chinese customs data indicates more than 8 million tons, which accounted for nearly 30% of China’s corn imports, came from Ukraine last year.
Ukraine is also an important hub in the Chinese regime’s “Belt and Road” initiative. Therefore, according to Chinese data, by the end of 2019, direct investments by Chinese companies in Ukraine were 150 million dollars in total. In 2020, the Embassy of Ukraine in China reported that Chinese companies invested 75.7 million dollars in projects in Ukraine during the first three quarters of 2020.