US says China is boosting Russia's war machine in Ukraine

    WORLD  13 April 2024 - 10:56

    China is helping Russia undertake its biggest military expansion since Soviet times, ramping up sales of machine tools, microelectronics and other technology that Moscow is using to produce missiles, tanks, aircraft and other weaponry for its war against Ukraine, according to a US assessment.

    US officials are hoping the release of the intelligence will encourage European allies to press China, as the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, heads to Beijing this weekend and G7 foreign ministers meet next week in Italy, the Guardian reports.

    Announcing US findings, officials said China was helping Russia in the production of drones, space-based capabilities and machine-tool exports vital for producing ballistic missiles.

    China has been the key factor in revitalising Russia’s defence industrial base, “which had otherwise suffered significant setbacks” since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a senior US official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

    “Russia is undertaking its most ambitious defence expansion since the Soviet era and on a faster timeline than we believed possible early on in this conflict,” the official said.

    “Our view is that one of the most game-changing moves available to us at this time to support Ukraine is to persuade the PRC [People’s Republic of China] to stop helping Russia reconstitute its military-industrial base,” the official said.

    “Russia would struggle to sustain its war effort without PRC inputs,” he said.

    US officials said that China provided more than 70% of the $900 million in machine tools – probably used to build ballistic missiles – imported in the last quarter of 2023 by Russia.

    They also said that 90% of Russia’s microelectronics imports – used to produce missiles, tanks and aircraft – came from China last year.

    US officials believe that China, anxious after its Russian allies’ early setbacks on the battlefield, has instead focused on sending material that ostensibly has non-military uses.

    Caliber.Az

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