The tensions between the US and China: The West has intelligence that Beijing may overcome “self-restraint” and start supplying Russia with weapons, the “Wall Street Journal” reported last night. According to the report, the Biden administration is considering publishing intelligence information on the matter, including details of China’s military support for Russia, during the war in Ukraine.
The discussions on this come ahead of the UN Security Council meeting on Friday, to mark the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This, following several secret requests from the West to China, which culminated in the official warning sent to Beijing at the Munich Security Conference. On the sidelines of the conference, senior officials of the Foreign Ministry met The Chinese with a number of Western officials, including US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and British Foreign Secretary James Calverley.
Who is responsible for the Chinese spy balloon? (Photo: Reuters)
Meanwhile, the meeting between Blinken and the Chinese official, on the sidelines of the conference in Munich, ended without joint agreements on key issues, according to sources familiar with the details. One of the sources also added that the meeting was “tense”, especially after the Chinese surveillance balloon affair.
In recent weeks, there has been concern in Western countries that according to intelligence information, China may supply weapons to Russia. American and European officials said that despite the intelligence report, China has not yet reached a final decision. Beijing has previously been wary of providing military and financial support to Russia, but China’s position appears to be changing. A senior Western source said that “until now there has been systematic information of ambiguity regarding Chinese aid to Russia”, but “the intelligence that the US and its allies have now is much less ambiguous”.
The American warning on the sidelines of the commission in Munich followed several appeals to China. Although the Biden administration has been working to declassify the intelligence, no final decision has been made on the matter or its timing, officials said. At the same time, it is not yet clear what weapons Russia may receive from China, which has become a world leader in the production of weapons that were widely used in the war in Ukraine, including artillery systems, anti-tank missiles, surface-to-surface missiles and drones.
Russia-Ukraine War (Photo: Pierre Crom/Getty Images)
Ukrainian soldiers during the war (Photo: Vertical)
Earlier this month, the “Wall Street Journal” revealed that China is providing Russia with technological assistance in the war in Ukraine. According to the investigation, defense companies owned by the Chinese government supplied defense companies in Russia with navigation equipment and parts for fighter planes, despite the sanctions imposed on those companies by Western countries. Western officials said that the economic sanctions imposed on Russia, following the invasion of Ukraine, paralyzed Moscow’s “war machine”, which focused on exporting chips, infrared cameras and radar equipment.
Despite this, customs records obtained by the magazine “C4ADS”, an American organization that specializes in identifying national security threats, show that Russia is still able to import the required technology from countries that have not joined the US-led efforts to cut off Moscow from markets around the world. Many of the products still flow into the country. through Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. This, after Turkish officials clarified that the sanctions are ineffective, and that Ankara “plays an important role as an interlocutor with Russia.”
Also, the records reviewed by the C4ADS show that the Chinese companies, both state-owned and privately owned, serve as dominant exporters of the products, which, according to American officials, are “particularly worrisome.” During the investigation, the Wall Street Journal analyzed more than 84 thousand shipments recorded by Russian customs, in the period after the imposition of sanctions from the West that focused on goods that the Biden administration marked as “critical” to the work of the Russian military. Customs records showed that more than a dozen of the Russian and Chinese companies featured in the investigation had already been sanctioned.