How Ukraine to minimize the risks of relations with China

Yurii Poita, Head of the Asian Section at the New Geopolitics Research Network analyzes new trends in Ukrainian-Chinese relations and comes to the conclusion that China, despite declarations of strategic partnership, periodically takes steps that contain risks and even threats to Ukraine.

One of the latest cases was the publication in the Chinese newspaper Global Times of an article in which it was required in an ultimatum to hand over the Ukrainian company Motor Sich to China. Otherwise, “Ukraine’s politicization of normal commercial cooperation would also deal a fresh blow to its already ailing domestic economy”, under the condition of Ukraine’s “extremely complicated geopolitical environment.”

Yurii Poita comes to the conclusion that China will continue unfriendly actions towards Ukraine, and therefore Kyiv needs to take a set of measures to reduce their influence.

He proposes to conduct a comprehensive assessment of risks from China, among which he points out: attempts to establish control over Ukrainian strategic enterprises and take possession of sensitive military technologies; technological expansion into critical sectors of Ukraine, such as nuclear energy, IT, cybersecurity; attempts to create a critical dependence on the Chinese market, finance and technology; the formation of a pro-Chinese lobby in the political, academic and expert environment, etc.

Yurii Poita suggests the adoption of a law on screening foreign investments, which would exclude the possibility of repeating the Motor Sich case; diversification of sales markets for Ukrainian products; the suspension of the activities of the “Ukrainian-Chinese high-tech centers”, as it turned out, is a cover for the Chinese special services to obtain classified information in Ukraine; reducing the effectiveness of the tools of the Chinese information and ideological influence.

He also talks about the need to find a consensus on China between the Ukrainian authorities and think tanks through a broad dialogue.

The full article is available here (in Ukrainian).

Yurii Poita

Head of the Asian Section

He has been working as a Head of the Asia-Pacific Section at the Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies (Kyiv, Ukraine). Yurii also is a sinologist and member of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine.

He studied at the Institute of International Relations of the Kyiv International University, the Wuhan Research Institute of Postal and Telecommunications (China), Zhytomyr Military Institute (Ukraine). At the moment Yurii is a PhD candidate at the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University.

He has experience in defense, international journalism, analytics and research.

Research interests: China’s influence in the post-Soviet space, “hybrid” threats to national security, Ukrainian-Chinese relations, the development of the situation in the Asia-Pacific and the Central Asian region.

He took part in a number of expert and scientific discussions in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Israel, China and other countries. He has participated in research projects on the consequences of educational migration to China, interethnic conflicts and the protest potential of Kazakhstan, creation of a new Asian strategy of the MFA of Ukraine, study of Ukraine’s relations with the countries of Central and East Asia.

Speaks Ukrainian, Russian, English and Chinese.

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December 2021
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