During the EU-China summit on December 7, 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.
After talks with Xi, the head of the European Council told reporters that Brussels had identified a list of Chinese companies that “we suspect play a role in circumventing our sanctions,” Politico reported.
“We sincerely hope that today we will be heard, and then China will take appropriate steps. We will also… inform our member states, because member states will have to decide what further action to take,” Michel added.
In a similar vein, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, whose agency is responsible for drafting the upcoming package of sanctions against Russia, called on the Chinese leader to “prevent any attempts by Russia to undermine the impact of sanctions.”
The Chinese media did not publicly report how Xi responded to these calls but quoted him as saying that Beijing and Brussels should “enhance mutual understanding and properly resolve differences through constructive dialogue.”
The European Union states that more than a dozen Chinese companies are helping Russia bypass the sanctions imposed by the West on Moscow due to Putin’s war in Ukraine. These companies help Russia bypass the sanctions imposed by the West on Moscow due to Putin’s war in Ukraine by exporting dual-use goods for the defense industry.
Earlier, the US also urged China to deal with companies that help Russia evade sanctions. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng, urged Beijing not to help Russia evade sanctions and to prevent this from happening through Chinese companies. The US official expressed concern that, despite US efforts, critical equipment “escapes sanctions and ends up in Russia.”
Earlier, the media reported that China, despite its own calls for peace, has been actively increasing its dual-use trade with Russia over the past year, helping Moscow, among other things, to import sanctioned Western technologies.
According to data from Russian, Chinese, and Ukrainian customs, Russia has imported more than $100 million worth of drones from China in 2023, which is thirty times more than Ukraine.
Exports of ceramics to Russia, which are used as a component in body armor, experienced a 69% increase, reaching over $225 million, while exports to Ukraine saw a 61% decrease, amounting to just five million.
One-day companies often carry out imports of Chinese dual-use goods to Russia to conceal trade activities that circumvent sanctions. For example, one of them, Silva, headquartered in Buryatia and established in September 2022, ordered 100,000 bulletproof vests and helmets from Shanghai H.W.
In the case of drones, the Chinese manufacturer, DJI, claims to have severed ties with Russia and “actively discourages the use of its products in hostilities.”
Nevertheless, Politico managed to find an October 2022 contract from the Chinese company Iflight to supply DJI drones through another company in Hong Kong to Russia.
U.S. intelligence reached the same conclusion in a July report, stating that China provided Russia with military and dual-use technologies for use in its war against Ukraine.
The House Intelligence Committee published the report of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
According to US intelligence, “China provides some dual-use technologies that the Russian military uses to continue the war in Ukraine, despite international sanctions and export controls.”
“Customs data shows that Chinese state-owned defense companies are sending navigation equipment, anti-radar technology, and fighter jet parts to sanctioned Russian state-owned defense companies,” the report says.