HomeGlobal Defence UpdatesConcerned about China providing inputs to Russia's defence industrial base: US

Concerned about China providing inputs to Russia’s defence industrial base: US

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US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Washinton was concerned about China providing inputs to Russia’s defence industrial base, adding that the Biden administration has taken action to deal with that in a “concerted way” with its allies and partners.

He made the remarks while responding to a query about the UK Defence Minister’s statement that the US and the UK have evidence that China could be providing lethal aid to Russia.

In response to the question at the press briefing, Sullivan said, “Well, going back to 2022, I’ve actually stood at this podium and warned about my concern that China might provide weapons — direct lethal assistance to Russia. We didn’t see that in 2022. We didn’t see that in 2023. We have not seen that to date. I look forward to speaking with the UK to make sure that we have a common operating picture. We have had one; we’ve been on the same page.

“So, I just want to understand better what exactly that comment was referring to. What I would point out is that just recently we have been articulating, in quite urgent terms, our concern about what China is doing to fuel Russia’s war machine — not giving weapons directly, but providing inputs to Russia’s defence industrial base. That is happening. That is something we’re concerned about. We’ve taken action to deal with that in a concerted way with our allies and partners, and you can expect more of that action in the period ahead,” he added.

In a big claim, British Secretary of State for Defence Grant Shapps said on Wednesday that the UK has evidence that China is providing “lethal aid” to Russia, without providing evidence. He accused Russia and China of collaborating on combat equipment for use in the war in Ukraine, VOA News reported.

Speaking at the London Defence Conference, Shapps said, “They’re covering each other’s back,” VOA News reported. His statement comes days after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Beijing.Shapps said there has been a 64 per cent increase in trade between the two countries since the invasion. His accusation marks the first time UK has accused China of providing arms to Russia amid its ongoing war in Ukraine. Earlier, in April, US officials said that China has aided Russia’s production of missiles, tanks and aircrafts by sale of machine tools, microelectronics and other technology, according to VOA News report.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington said that it is “not a producer of or party involved in the Ukraine crisis.” It rejected claims that China helps Russia in military efforts in Ukraine.

Earlier in April, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated serious concerns of the US about China providing components that are powering Russia’s war against Ukraine.He noted that China is the top supplier of machine tools, micro-electronics, and nitrocellulose which is critical to making ammunitions and rocket propellants that Moscow is using to ramp up its defence industrial base.

Speaking to reporters in Beijing, Blinken said, “Even as we seek to deepen cooperation, where our interest is in line, the United States is very clear about the challenges posed by the PRC (China) and about our competing visions for the future. America will always defend our core interests and values.”

“In my discussions today, I reiterated our serious concern about PRC (China) providing components that are powering Russia’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine. China is the top supplier of machine tools, micro-electronics, nitrocellulose which is critical to making munitions and rocket propellants and other dual items that Moscow is using to ramp up its defence industrial base. The defence industrial base that is churning out rockets, drones, tanks and other weapons that President Putin is using to … civilian infrastructure, to kill innocent children, women and men,” he added.

Blinken noted that Russia will struggle to sustain its military action in Ukraine without the support of China. He stressed that fuelling Russia’s defence industrial base threatens not only Ukrainian security but also European security.

“Russia will struggle to sustain its assault on Ukraine without China’s support. In my meetings with NATO allies earlier this month and our G7 partners just last week, I heard that same message, fuelling Russia’s defence industrial base not only threatens Ukrainian security but also threatens European security,” he said.

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