U. S. accuses China of bolstering Russia’s military capabilities amid Ukraine conflict

84

13th April 2024 – (Washington) U.S. officials have raised alarm over China’s significant role in enhancing Russia’s military might, marking the largest expansion since the era of the Soviet Union. This development comes as international tensions heighten over the situation in Ukraine.

The revelations were made public in a bid to galvanise European nations into action, coinciding with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s imminent visit to Beijing and a scheduled meeting of the Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers next week in Italy.

According to U.S. intelligence, China has become instrumental in Russia’s defence sector revitalisation, which had faced severe challenges following its incursion into Ukraine. “China’s support has been pivotal in reconstituting Russia’s defence industrial base, which had otherwise suffered significant setbacks,” a senior U.S. official stated under the condition of anonymity.

The official detailed that the collaboration includes joint drone production, advancements in space-based capabilities, and the export of crucial machine tools essential for manufacturing ballistic missiles. “Russia is now pursuing the most substantial defense expansion since the Soviet times, at a pace previously deemed unfeasible at the onset of this conflict,” the official added.

In the latter part of 2023, more than 70% of Russia’s machine tool imports, which are likely utilised in ballistic missile production, were sourced from China, totalling around $900 million. Furthermore, it was disclosed that 90% of the microelectronics imported by Russia last year, used in the manufacture of missiles, tanks, and aircraft, originated from China.

The U.S. has consistently cautioned China against aiding Russia, emphasising that while Beijing has refrained from directly supplying weapons, it has provided materials that could potentially have non-military applications. These developments have occurred as Russia has increasingly relied on sanctioned countries like North Korea and Iran for military supplies.

In light of these developments, the Biden administration is keen on leveraging European influence to persuade China to reconsider its support for Russia. This diplomatic push includes efforts by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who will discuss these issues at the upcoming G7 summit in Capri, Italy, and is also planning a visit to China following a recent trip by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Amidst these diplomatic manoeuvres, Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell highlighted that maintaining Europe’s stability remains a paramount concern for the US. He affirmed that the US would hold China accountable should its support contribute to Russian advancements.