Chinese imports of Russian oil rose 55% year-on-year in May, amid Western sanctions against Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, according to official data released on Monday.
The world’s second largest economy imported some 8.42 million tons of oil from Russia, surpassing crude shipments from Saudi Arabia, which is usually China’s biggest supplier.
Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping assured Russian President Vladimir Putin of his support on “sovereignty” and “security” issues, and Beijing has provided significant diplomatic support.
These data are published when almost four months of war have passed and other buyers avoid Russian hydrocarbons.
These figures represent an increase of 5.44 million tons imported by China in May 2021, according to Customs.
This month, state media claimed that China is willing to “intensify strategic coordination between the two countries.”
The Kremlin reported that the two leaders agreed to increase economic cooperation in the face of “illegal” sanctions imposed by the West.
Western countries have adopted unprecedented sanctions against Russia in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine and Moscow is seeking new markets and suppliers to replace foreign companies that have left the country.