Source:Global Times Published: 2019-7-23
The US' unilateral penalties on a Chinese oil trading firm for its regular business with Iran is unreasonable and illegal, experts and industry representatives told the Global Times.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday (US time) that the US is imposing economic sanctions on a Chinese state-owned oil trading company Zhuhai Zhenrong Co and its top executive for purchasing Iranian oil, which has violated the recent US sanctions on Iranian oil exports.
"The imposition of these sanctions blocks all property and interests in property of Zhuhai Zhenrong Co that are in the US or within the possession or control of a US person, and provides that such property and interests in property may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in," said Pompeo.
The Chinese embassy in Washington rejected the US' stance, saying that "China firmly opposes the US' imposition of unilateral sanctions and so-called 'long-arm jurisdiction' on China and other countries, invoking its domestic law," Reuters reported Monday, citing a spokesperson.
"We urge the US to immediately correct its wrongdoing and earnestly respect other parties' legal rights and interests," said the spokesperson in an email.
The crude oil business between Zhuhai Zhenrong and its partners in Iran is legal based on international law, which is also wholly in accordance with international trade conventions, said a person close to Zhuhai Zhenrong.
Additionally, the two sides' business cooperation falls in line with trade and economic relations between China and Iran, which are normal, open and transparent, the person told the Global Times on Tuesday.
"The US has no reason to impose unilateral sanctions and 'long-arm jurisdiction' on Chinese firms based only on its domestic law," said the person, adding that China will not follow the US' economic sanctions on Iran.
"Chinese firms have legal rights to do business with other countries," said Zhou Rong, a senior research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China.
"The US is obviously imposing its national law on the international community, to disrupt normal business between China and other countries, which is not justified," Zhou told the Global Times on Tuesday.
The US' economic penalties on a Chinese firm come amid the ongoing China-US trade frictions.
Founded in 1994, Beijing-based Zhuhai Zhenrong has developed a steady crude oil supply channel in the Middle East, and its trade volume with Iran accounted for over 60 percent of its business, according to the company website.
Zhou Rong is a senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.