When asked if China would be willing to release oil from its strategic reserves should the U.S. seek more coordinated sales to quell prices, the spokesperson said it would consider a move to mitigate prices only when the geopolitical situation has stabilized.
All countries are jointly responsible for the security and stability of global energy supplies, and should avoid affecting that through regional tensions, the spokesperson said.
While China was on-board with a Biden-led joint release of oil reserves last November, it was still ironing out details on when and how much oil to release in January this year after the U.S. and other nations such as Japan and South Korea made good on their promise to sell supplies from emergency stockpiles.
Reuters had reported that China will release oil from its reserves around the Lunar New Year period. Separately, Chinese oil traders told Bloomberg that they expect the release to happen after the holidays.
Oil surged above $100 a barrel on Thursday as Russia attacked sites across Ukraine, triggering fears of a disruption to energy exports at a time of already tight supplies. President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to strike military facilities across Ukraine. Kyiv called it a “full-scale invasion” and announced martial law, while Biden said he would impose “severe sanctions” on Moscow.