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China, aiding Russia in war, can no longer claim neutrality - US Representative to NATO

China, aiding Russia in war, can no longer claim neutrality - US Representative to NATO Photo: US Permanent Representative to NATO Julianne Smith (Twitter)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

China is helping Russia achieve its military goals in Ukraine by continuing to sell Moscow goods such as drone technology and gunpowder ingredients, according to US Permanent Representative to NATO Julianne Smith.

"The PRC [People's Republic of China] cannot claim to be entirely neutral in this case, [and] they are picking a side," Julianne Smith told POLITICO on Tuesday. "I think when the PRC tries to portray itself as neutral when it comes to this war, we don't buy it," she says.

According to her, the United States "increasingly seeing material support" from Russia from China. In particular, this equipment - which can have both civilian and military purposes - has played a decisive role in Moscow's achievement of some goals regarding Ukraine.

"If they were not providing some of these components, or this materiel support, Russia would be in a very different situation and would have trouble pursuing some of these acts of aggression," Smith says.

She talks about the kind of assistance Beijing provides to Moscow, including "machine tools, microelectronics, UAV technologies, and nitrocellulose that is used as a propellant."

According to Smith, there is no evidence yet that China is providing "lethal support" to Russia, but China is sending equipment and technology that can be used for both civilian and military purposes and is helping to supply Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's forces.

"We see, in many cases, the flow of dual-use components that are in essence enabling Russia to undertake this unprovoked war of aggression in Ukraine," she says.

China's aid to Russia

From the first days of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, China took an ambiguous position. Beijing did not directly condemn Russia and did not impose sanctions against it.

On the contrary, China took advantage of the situation when Western markets were closed to Russia, increasing cooperation.

Russia does not receive direct arms supplies from China, but in 2023, according to the Associated Press, about 90% of Russian microelectronics was imported from China.

The US is concerned about this support. US State Department Deputy Speaker Vedant Patel said that Washington is ready to take new measures against China because it aids the Russian defense industry.