China responds to Australia's criticism of "normal trade" with Russia
Australia calls China's move to use restrictions on Russian wheat exports "unacceptable"; Beijing's Foreign Ministry responds.
China's Foreign Ministry responded to Australia's criticism of Beijing on developing trade cooperation with Russia.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday that China easing restrictions on Russian wheat exports amid Moscow's current military operation in Ukraine is "unacceptable".
"At a time when the world was seeking to put additional sanctions on Russia, they have eased restrictions on trade of Russian wheat into China. So, at a time when Australia, together with the United Kingdom, together with the United States and Europe and Japan, are acting to cut off Russia, the Chinese government is following through on easing trade restrictions with Russia, and that is simply unacceptable", Morrison told reporters.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry replied to Morrison's statement, saying that its collaboration with Russia is based on "mutual respect and benefits" and added that China has a "normal" trade relationship with Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping had met in Beijing on February 4 during the opening of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Russia and China adopted bilateral agreements after the meeting and expanded the list and volume of grain that Russia supplies to China. The accords allowed for wheat and barley to be sent to China from all Russian territories.