White House national security adviser John Bolton said Wednesday that he had discussed Washington's concerns about the threat of "unfair Chinese trade practices" with Ukrainian officials during his trip to Kyiv.
Asked about a possible acquisition by China of Ukrainian defense company Motor Sich, Bolton said he did not want to discuss specific companies and that such deals were a sovereign matter for Ukraine, according to Reuters.
But he made clear that the U.S. administration disapproved of the transaction, telling reporters: "We laid out our concerns about … unfair Chinese trade practices, threats to national security we've seen in the United States."
Speaking to RFE/RL in Kyiv on Tuesday, Bolton said the possible sale of Motor Sich — a maker of engines for missiles, helicopters and jets — to the Chinese "is an issue that I think is significant for Ukraine, but [also] significant for the U.S., for Europe, for Japan, for Australia, Canada, other countries."
He accused Beijing of using its "trade surpluses to gain economic leverage in countries around the world, to profit from defense technologies that others have developed."
Earlier this month, Ukrainian media reported that two Chinese companies had reached an agreement with state-owned military concern Ukroboronprom to jointly purchase Motor Sich.
The Chinese firms, which are believed to be close to the government in Beijing, would receive a controlling stake, while Ukroboronprom would receive a blocking stake.
Motor Sich employs more than 20,000 people in the southwestern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhya.
A possible sale to the Chinese provoked a raid of its headquarters by Ukraine's Security Service in April 2018 and the seizure of its shares. At the time, the company was valued at nearly $500 million.