China is accused by the US of helping Russia’s war in Ukraine

According to the US ambassador to NATO, Beijing is “picking a side” and can no longer claim to be neutral, as POLITICO reported.

In an interview, the U.S. Ambassador to NATO stated that China is assisting Russia in achieving its war objectives in Ukraine by continuing to supply Moscow with products such as unmanned aerial vehicles and gunpowder ingredients.

Julianne Smith stated to POLITICO that “the PRC [People’s Republic of China] cannot claim to be entirely neutral in this case; they are in fact picking a side. I think when the PRC tries to portray itself as neutral, when it comes to this war, we don’t buy it.”

China ships to Russia dual-use components – US Ambassador

According to Smith, China is “increasingly sending material support” for Russia. This equipment, which can be used for both military and civilian purposes, has been essential in helping Moscow accomplish some of its objectives in the war against Ukraine.

“If they were not providing some of these components or this material support, Russia would be in a very different situation and would have trouble pursuing some of these acts of aggression,” she stated.

Smith’s remarks came just before U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Wednesday visit to China. It is anticipated that he will caution Chinese officials against aiding Russia.

She listed Beijing’s assistance to Moscow, citing “microelectronics, machine tools, UAV technologies, and nitrocellulose that is used as a propellant.”

Attack and reconnaissance drones have been crucial to both sides of the battle. However, Europe’s defense industry is concerned about China’s large-scale production of nitrocellulose, which is a necessary component of gunpowder.

Smith stated that although there isn’t any proof of China giving “lethal support” to Russia just yet, China is supplying Vladimir Putin’s forces with technology and equipment that may be utilized for both military and civilian use.

China maintains that it is not a “party” to the conflict and defends its “normal trading relationships” with Moscow, all the while claiming that the United States is purposefully supplying Ukraine with weapons.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken criticized China for supporting Russia’s defense industry, saying that Beijing is now the main supplier of critical components for the war of aggression that Russia is waging against Ukraine.

The media reported that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, speaking to his EU and NATO counterparts, said that China was helping Russia “on a worrying scale” by providing tools and technology.

US warned China of the consequences

Also, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that the U.S. had warned China of the consequences of its banks and companies helping Russia in the war against Ukraine and was ready to respond to the sharp rise in cheap exports from China.

In April, the US Department of Commerce has imposed export restrictions on three companies from Russia, six from China, and two from the United Arab Emirates. On April 11, the Department’s website published the list of the newly sanctioned companies.

The companies have been penalized, among other reasons, for their involvement in the purchase of Shahed war drone components, used by Russia in the war against Ukraine.

The are concerns on the EU side as well. Executive Vice President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, stated that the EU is concerned that China may become increasingly confident in its ability to supply Russia with parts needed to manufacture weapons if the West’s determination to resist Russia’s war in Ukraine wanes.

During the EU-China summit last December, European Council President Charles Michel called on Chinese leader Xi Jinping to deal with companies involved in the supply of dual-use goods to Russia, which continues its war against Ukraine.

According to a recent analysis by chip specialist Chris Miller, 88% of the chips Russia purchased in the first half of 2023—measured in dollars—came from Chinese deliveries. Despite sanctions placed after its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has continued to have widespread access to computer chips from the West through imports from China and other nearby nations.

Trade between China and Russia

Since 2022, Russian imports from the world have decreased by about 38.8% because of the enacted sanctions. According to data, China maintained its electronics exports to Russia near pre-war levels, whereas many other countries stopped doing so, and Moscow’s imports fell.

China is the world’s leading provider of electronics. China’s electronics exports surpassed the combined exports of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea, reaching almost a trillion dollars and surpassing the amount sold by the United States by five times.

Western countries have drastically decreased shipments to Russia, while China has increased them, with Hong Kong accounting for a percentage of exports. However, Western corporations’ policy of transferring production to China has hurt these countries.

Although Russia’s total imports from China have decreased, their percentage share has risen. In 2022, China will account for almost 60% of the Russian electronics market in 2022. China accounted for more than $13 billion in electronic shipments to Russia in 2022, when Putin’s war was already going on.

China exports advanced machine tools to Russia

Since the invasion of Ukraine, China has increased its supply of modern machine tools to Russia for use in the military industry.

Chinese vendors now account for the majority of shipments of ‘computer numerical control’ devices used by Russia’s defense industry. The Financial Times reported that Chinese shipments of a critical category of modern technology to Russia have increased since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

These machines are critical to the military industry in Moscow. They enable the rapid manufacturing of complex metal and other hard material components, making them vital in defense production.

Russian defense corporations import Chinese-made equipment, such as the Lancet kamikaze drones, which have caused substantial losses among Ukrainian forces.

Chinese-supplied goods boosted Russian troops’ war capabilities

According to open-source trade statistics, an increase in imports of Chinese-manufactured military parts aided Russia’s ability to enhance its war capabilities on Ukrainian territory and keep Russian forces supplied to oppose Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

An unclassified US intelligence report reveals trade data indicating that China is supplying significant amounts of equipment and technologies critical to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The surge of Chinese silicon chips from China has provided crucial components for Russia to resume weapon production, allowing Russian artillery, missiles, and drones to continue targeting Ukrainian armed forces and civilians.

Stopping Chinese exports is critical to ending Russia’s war

China may not be directly providing weapons to Russia at this time, but Xi’s government should be aware that Chinese businesses are contributing commodities and equipment that aid Russia’s invasion and takeover of Ukrainian territory.

As long as Russia receives supplies from Chinese firms, Ukraine will face significant challenges in repelling Russian air raids and liberating Russian-occupied territory.

Western nations must tighten export controls and constraints to close gaps in their sanctions frameworks, make pressure on the Chinese government, and prevent future transfers of goods to Russia from fueling the Kremlin’s war machine.

Identifying and sanctioning Chinese enterprises that re-export Western dual-use goods to Russia would be the first step toward convincing the owners to stop evading sanctions. These factors support the belief that Beijing, not Brussels, Washington, or even Moscow, holds the keys to peace in Ukraine. After all, as soon as China withdraws its aid from Russia, Moscow’s economy will begin to implode.

If China stops supplying electronics to Moscow, the Russian military industry will suffer the most, and it will be unable to continue fighting in Ukraine.

Therefore, the world urgently needs to halt the shipment of any military supplies and dual-use equipment to Russia through China and other third countries. Russia may be able to rebuild its military forces through sanctions evasion, and Putin’s war might spread beyond Ukraine’s borders into Europe.

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