China Drops the Facade: Xi Greenlights Lethal Arms Supply to Russia

Despite pretended neutrality revealed: China secretly supports Russia with weapons in Ukraine conflict.

The British Telegraph recently reported that China is supporting Russia with significant arms shipments despite its claimed neutrality in the Ukraine conflict. Russian companies, including those that have been sanctioned, have reportedly received numerous shipments from China since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in the first quarter of this year. This is occurring despite China’s desire to position itself as a significant peace broker in the conflict.

According to the Telegraph’s research, Chinese companies would supply Russia with a wide range of military goods. Interestingly, many of the exported goods could also be used for civilian purposes. They are referred to as “dual-use goods,” which allows China to circumvent international sanctions. This, in turn, could help Moscow weather the pressure of sanctions and undermine the West’s intentions to weaken the Russian economy.

Drones and helicopters from China

One example from the Telegraph’s investigation shows the delivery of 1,000 drones to Russia by a Chinese company called Shantou Honghu Plastics, which claims to be a wholesaler of children’s toys. These drones were sent to a Russian company called Samson, which appears to have minimal capital and also claims to be a toy wholesaler. Shortly after the war began, other Chinese companies supplied helicopters and optical sights to Russia, reinforcing suspicions that trade between the two countries is not purely civilian in nature.

In addition, research by the Telegraph revealed that Russia is increasingly importing raw materials and components from China that are essential for arms production. It should be noted that China’s exports of turbojets and missile navigation systems were also shipped via third countries such as India and Costa Rica before being forwarded to Russia – apparently a strategy to circumvent sanctions.

China remains neutral

Despite these close economic ties with Russia, China continues to present itself as neutral in the Ukraine conflict. Beijing did participate in peace talks, but it refuses to call the Russian invasion of Ukraine an “invasion.” Moreover, the peace declarations issued by China offer no concrete solutions to end the war.

The Telegraph’s research is based on analyses of data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) and the open-source research organization Molfar. The companies involved have not yet responded to inquiries from the Telegraph or could not be reached.

Image:, Putin-Xi press conference (2023), CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (image size modified)

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