BEIJING - China's stance on the Russian war in Ukraine is affecting the country's image, the European Union Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis (New Unity) warned on Monday, saying Beijing's refusal to condemn the invasion poses a "reputational risk".
China has sought to position itself as a neutral party in the Ukraine conflict, while offering Moscow a vital diplomatic and financial lifeline as its international isolation deepens.
Russia and China frequently tout their "no limits" partnership and economic and military cooperation.
China's position "is affecting the country's image, not only with European consumers, but also businesses", Dombrovskis said in a speech in the Chinese capital.
"Territorial integrity has always been a key principle for China in international diplomacy. Russia's war is a blatant breach of this principle," Dombrovskis added.
"And, China always advocates for each country being to free to choose its own development path. So it's very difficult for us to understand China's stance on Russia's war against Ukraine, as it breaches China's own fundamental principles," Dombrovskis said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping made a state visit to Russia in March and declared that relations between the two countries were entering a new era. His Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin is due to visit China next month.