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China surges equipment sales to Russia to help war effort in Ukraine - AP

China surges equipment sales to Russia to help war effort in Ukraine - AP Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin (photo: Getty Images)

According to the US assessment, China has sharply increased its sales of machine tools, microelectronics, and other technologies to Russia, which Moscow, in turn, uses to produce missiles, tanks, aircraft, and other weapons for the war against Ukraine, reports Associated Press.

Two senior Biden administration officials, who discussed the sensitive findings Friday on the condition of anonymity, said that in 2023 about 90% of Russia’s microelectronics came from China, which Russia has used to make missiles, tanks, and aircraft. Nearly 70% of Russia’s approximately $900 million in machine tool imports in the last quarter of 2023 came from China.

Chinese and Russian entities have also been working to jointly produce unmanned aerial vehicles inside Russia, and Chinese companies are likely providing Russia with nitrocellulose used in the manufacture of ammunition, officials said.

China-based companies Wuhan Global Sensor Technology Co., Wuhan Tongsheng Technology Co. Ltd., and Hikvision are providing optical components for use in Russian tanks and armored vehicles.

The officials said Russia has received military optics for use in tanks and armored vehicles manufactured by Chinese firms iRay Technology and North China Research Institute of Electro-Optics, and China has been providing Russia with UAV engines and turbojet engines for cruise missiles.

According to data from the Russian customs analyzed by the Free Russia Foundation, Russian semiconductor imports from China surged from $200 million in 2021 to over $500 million in 2022.

Beijing is also working with Russia to enhance its satellite and other space-based capabilities for use in Ukraine. This, according to officials, could increase the long-term threat Russia poses to Europe. Officials, citing intelligence, stated that the US has also identified China providing Russia with satellite imagery for its war against Ukraine.

US officials discussed the findings as Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to visit China this month for talks.

Support by China for Russian aggression against Ukraine

In October 2023, the US Department of Defense stated that China supplies weapons to Russia, including drones, small arms, and equipment.

At the same time, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi assured his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba that Beijing does not supply lethal weapons to Russia.

US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell noted on April 4 that Russia has nearly restored its armed forces, partially thanks to support from China.

During a recent visit to China, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen raised the issue of Chinese support for Russia's aggression against Ukraine. She stated that Chinese banks and exporters should not strengthen Russia's military potential, warning that they will face significant consequences if they do.

However, China does not accept criticism regarding its support for the Russian war against Ukraine. Chinese officials call it normal cooperation and urge their critics to reflect on the actions that caused it (the war) and do something to help establish peace.