Beijing Boosts Tech Exports to Moscow

Written by Henrik Rothen

Apr.13 - 2024 1:24 PM CET

Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons
China has escalated its technology shipments to Russia, equipping Moscow with critical components for its war machinery.

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Recent data from US sources reveals a significant uptick in China's exportation of machine tools, microelectronics, and other technologies to Russia—technologies that are crucial in manufacturing weapons like missiles, tanks, and aircraft currently deployed in the conflict against Ukraine.

Two American officials, who opted to remain anonymous, detailed these findings to major news agencies, including Reuters and AR, as reported by European Pravda.

In 2023, a staggering 90% of Russia's microelectronics imports reportedly came from China, marking a critical dependency on Chinese supplies for maintaining its war efforts. Additionally, the last quarter of the year saw about 70% of Russia’s machine tool imports, worth approximately $900 million, originating from China.

Expanding Cooperation Beyond Borders

Further reports indicate an expanding partnership between Chinese and Russian firms, notably in the production of drones within Russia. This collaboration extends to the provision of nitrocellulose from China, a key component in rocket fuel, highlighting a deeper level of logistical support that extends beyond mere hardware.

The collaboration doesn't stop at tangible goods. The White House has pointed out that China is also aiding Russia in enhancing its satellite and other space capabilities, crucial for wartime communications and strategy. This assistance reportedly includes the provision of satellite imagery for military operations, which according to U.S. intelligence, poses an increased long-term threat to European security.

Navigating the Thin Line

While the data paints a picture of robust support, U.S. officials underline a critical distinction: there is no evidence of direct military support from China to Russia. This nuance is crucial as it suggests that while Beijing’s actions significantly bolster Russia’s military capabilities indirectly, it stops short of engaging in direct combat assistance.

This development has not gone unnoticed. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reportedly communicated his concerns to EU and NATO colleagues, citing the scale of China’s involvement in areas like optical equipment, propellants, and space technology as particularly troubling.

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