China urged Ukraine to safeguard the “legitimate rights and interests” of Chinese investors after authorities in Kyiv announced plans to nationalise jet engine manufacturer Motor Sich, majority-owned by Chinese companies.
The nationalisation plan had been under discussion since the United States blacklisted Chinese company Skyrizon, the majority shareholder in Motor Sich, in January
“We urge the Ukrainian side to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and investors in accordance with law and properly handle relevant issues,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a briefing in Beijing.
The nationalisation plan was announced by National Security and Defence Council Secretary Oleksei Danylov, who said Motor Sich “will be returned to the property of the Ukrainian state in a legal and constitutional manner in the near future. This is being done for the national security of our country.”
The head of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Servant of the People party said enabling legislation would be presented to parliament in two to three weeks.
Washington has opposed Chinese investment in the company on grounds that it would help transfer its advanced technology to Beijing.
Chinese investors linked to Skyrizon have filed a lawsuit demanding $3.5 billion in compensation from Ukraine in what they say is expropriation of shares in the company.
Motor Sich, based in the central city of Zaporizhya, manufactures several engines for Ukrainian and Russian aircraft. Most notably, it produces the Progress D-18 that powers the Antonov An-124 Ruslan and the An-225 Mriya, the world’s largest freighter aircraft.