Washington — The Biden administration has raised concerns with the Chinese government about Chinese companies selling non-lethal military aid to Russia for Moscow’s use in Ukraine, CBS News has confirmed.
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Chinese companies are providing non-lethal military assistance and economic support that stops short of wholesale sanctions evasion, sources familiar with the situation tell CBS News. U.S. officials view this as a significantly scaled-down version of the Chinese government’s initial plan when the war in Ukraine started, which was to sell lethal weapons systems for Russia’s use on the battlefield. Bloomberg was first to report that that U.S. raised such concerns with the Chinese.
The U.S. continues to see “concerning” activity from Chinese companies, but it’s unclear which elements the Chinese government is aware of, the sources said. The U.S. is closely monitoring the situation between China and Russia, and has been since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly one year ago. The U.S. plans to continue to communicate to China the implications of providing material support to Russia’s war on Ukraine.The sources could not share what China’s response was to the U.S. raising concerns, and could not provide specifics on the type of equipment Chinese companies have sold to Russia.
President Biden has described China as the “biggest challenge to international order,” and has expressed his criticism of China’s position toward Russia.
Although Mr. Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met many times in person and virtually before, November marked their first in-person meeting since Mr. Biden became president two years ago.
China and Russia see the U.S. in their crosshairs at United Nations
Russia’s war on Ukraine shows no end in sight as the one-year mark approaches. Poland will ask the German government for permission to supply the German-made Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine, Poland’s prime minister said Monday. Ukraine continues to plead with western countries to provide military assistance.