G7 slams Chinese firms’ military help for Russia

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G7 foreign ministers Friday expressed “strong concern” about transfers of dual use materials and weapons components from Chinese businesses to Russia being used by Moscow for its military expansion.

At a meeting in Italy, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had urged European counterparts to increase pressure on Beijing, who Washington accuses of helping Russia’s “most ambitious defence expansion since the Soviet era”.

“We express our strong concern about transfers to Russia from businesses in the People’s Republic of China of dual-use materials and weapons components that Russia is using to advance its military production,” the Group of Seven ministers said in a final statement after talks on the island of Capri.

“This is enabling Russia to reconstitute and revitalise its defence industrial base, posing a threat both to Ukraine and to international peace and security.

“China should ensure that this support stops, as it will only prolong this conflict and increase the threat that Russia poses to its neighbours.”

In addition to the United States, the G7 countries include Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Japan and Italy, which holds the presidency this year.

Washington has set a red line for Beijing — not to supply weapons to Russia for its war in Ukraine. And so far it has not presented proof that this has been crossed.

But the United States is increasingly denouncing what it says is China’s backdoor support for Moscow.

“When it comes to Russia’s defence industrial base, the primary contributor in this moment to that is China,” Blinken told reporters after the meeting in Capri.

This was “allowing Russia to continue the aggression against Ukraine”, he said.

The diplomat added: “China can’t have it both ways.

“If China purports on the one hand to have positive, friendly relations with Europe and other countries, they can’t be fuelling on the other hand what is the biggest threat to European security since the end of the Cold War.”

A senior US official said last week that China was helping Russia undertake “its most ambitious defence expansion since the Soviet era and on a faster timeline than we believed possible” early in the Ukraine conflict.

Unveiling US findings, officials said China was helping Russia on a range of areas including the joint production of drones, space-based capabilities and 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.


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