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4 Feb, 2023 19:01

China helping Russia to obtain key technology – media

Western sanctions apparently haven’t hampered the flow of aircraft parts, radios and microchips
China helping Russia to obtain key technology – media

Chinese defense firms are supplying Russia with components suitable for military use, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. Despite repeated attempts by Washington to shut off the flow of such components through Türkiye and the UAE, tens of thousands of shipments have been successfully completed, the report claimed.

Citing Russian customs data allegedly obtained by C4ADS, a Washington-based think-tank, the newspaper stated that 84,000 shipments were made since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine last February. These reportedly include “dual use” components – items suitable for military or civilian use – like navigation computers, semiconductors, aircraft parts, and communications jamming equipment. 

The US has repeatedly demanded that China abide by sanctions on the Russian defense industry, and has sanctioned some Chinese firms that it accused of violating these restrictions. Beijing denies flouting the sanctions, with a spokesman for its foreign ministry telling the Wall Street Journal that the allegations are “purely speculative and deliberately hyped up.”

Russia did not provide a comment to the newspaper, while most of the Chinese and Russian companies allegedly involved refused to return its messages.

While Washington’s European allies have cut their ties with Russia – often to the detriment of their own economies, America’s partners elsewhere have been less enthusiastic. The report claimed that many of the components shipped by China came to Russia via Türkiye and the United Arab Emirates, both of which have refused to sanction Moscow.

The US Treasury Department’s top sanctions official visited both countries this week, where he pressed local businesses to cut their ties with Russian entities, threatening them with loss of access to Western markets. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was due to raise the issue of China’s alleged sanctions evasion while on a trip to Beijing this week, before the trip was canceled amid controversy over the appearance of a supposed Chinese “surveillance balloon” over the US on Wednesday.

With relations between Washington and Beijing at an historic low, China and Russia have continued to strengthen their partnership, Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu said after a visit to Moscow earlier this week. The US, meanwhile, has responded with further sanctions, blacklisting nearly two dozen individuals and entities on Wednesday for allegedly helping Russia acquire military technology.