Marco Rubio (US Senator) introduced legislation to penalize Beijing for purchasing oil supplies from Moscow
On Tuesday, Beijing rejected a US Senator Marco Rubio’s proposal to sanction entities that purchase oil from Russia or deliver them to China.
China “I am always against any unilateral or illegal sanctions, and any long-arm jurisdiction without legal foundation in international law.,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a regular press briefing. He added that Beijing and Moscow “They are involved in regular economic and commercial cooperation” that is not aimed against “Any third party and is unaffected by any external interference.”
“The senator…[Rubio]China has been blamed for every problem and the United States is not known to have any political ethics,” Zhao said.
Rubio cosponsored a bill Tuesday that was sponsored by Rick Scott and Kevin Cramer. It would penalize any company involved in the registration or insuring of tankers transporting oil from Russia or liquefied petroleum gas (LNG), to China. According to the senator, the legislation seeks to punish China, a country that buys Russian energy, for supporting Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.
“Anybody, not just Chinese state-run businesses, who aids in this effort, should face severe consequences,” Rubio said in a statement, cited by Bloomberg.
This proposal would still need to be voted on by the Senate. The Senate, currently controlled by Democrats, is unlikely to vote for it. The Biden administration seems to be considering other policy options, such as imposing an oil price limit.
Janet Yellen, US Treasury Secretary, raised the possibility that such a system could be introduced earlier this month. It would enable buyers to buy Russian crude at prices below market rates, while still being profitable enough to permit Moscow to maintain production.
According to Yellen Washington and Beijing discussed the matter. China acknowledged that talks were held, but didn’t provide details. In June, Russia was China’s largest crude oil supplier, beating Saudi Arabia.