Honcharuk A., Kiktenko V. Ukraine – China Relations. November 2017 – February 2018 // TRUMAN Index. – 2018. – №2(6). – P. 14-19.
The main development in Ukraine-China relations over November 2017-February 2018 was deepening trade and economic cooperation as political dialog picked up. On December 5, 2017, Ukraine’s First Deputy Premier and Minister for Economic Development and Trade Stepan Kubiv and China’s Vice Premier Ma Kai presided over the third session of the Ukraine-China Intergovernmental Cooperation Commission, an important milestone in Ukraine-China relations. This meeting was to have taken place back in 2015, and so it marked an end to the period of uncertainty in bilateral relations and visibly demonstrated effective dialog at the highest levels. The decision to meet by the end of 2017 was made during a meeting at Davos between Presidents Petro Poroshenko and Xi Jinping back in January 2017.
Vice-Premier Ma’s visit to Ukraine was also important in terms of deeper constructive dialog between the two countries. At a meeting with VPM Ma, President Poroshenko assessed the results of the Commission’s third session as positive, confirming Ukraine’s interest in continuing involvement in China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, in relation to which Ukraine’s priority is to include Chinese technological possibilities and capital in the development of the country’s economy. During the meeting, Poroshenko handed over an invitation to President Xi to visit Ukraine. He noted the importance of China’s consistent position with regard to respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and called on the Chinese government to continue to uphold the policy of not recognizing Russia’s temporary occupation of Ukrainian territory in Crimea.
During the reporting period, Ukraine-China international dialog continued, including on aerospace, the legal system, and fiscal policy. Various sub-commissions of the Intergovernmental Commission also met twice, and a series of informational events related to the implementation of bilateral agreements was held.
There has been a steady rise in announcements of successful signings and implementations of agreements in various branches of the economy.
One negative event was the ending of a 2012 general line of credit agreement between the China Development Bank and NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy worth US $3.656 billion. It was not used because of delays in getting approvals from Ukraine’s bureaucracy, which did not look especially good for Kyiv.
Cooperation in the humanitarian sphere was noted for a number of interesting happenings, including a series of events in honor of the Chinese Spring Festival and the opening of a symbolic sculptural composition in Kyiv called “Door to the Soul. A dialog between Taras Shevchenko and Du Fu,” from renowned Chinese sculptor Wu Weishan.