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USA. Intelligence Report: China supplies Russia with key technologies and helps it circumvent sanctions

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China has taken a series of economic measures that weaken the effects of Western sanctions on Russia and supply the country with key dual-use technology and equipment, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) report to the U.S. Congress published on Thursday said.

The nine-page report states that in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine PRC has become an even more important economic partner for Russiahelping it circumvent and mitigate sanctions, increasing semiconductor exports, importing Russian oil and gas, and shipping dual-use equipment to Russian defense companies.

Beijing helps to evade sanctions

“Beijing uses various mechanisms of economic support for Russia that mitigate both the impact of Western sanctions and export controls. PRC has increased imports of Russian energy exports, including oil and gas supplies redirected from Europe. (…) PRC is also becoming increasingly important bulwark for Russia in its war effort, possibly supplying Moscow with key dual-use technologies and equipment used in Ukraine.

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The document mainly quotes information from open sources, such as customs records and reports from the Western and Russian press. According to US intelligence, China they help, among others Moscow has circumvented the G7 price cap on Russian oil, and Russia has dramatically increased imports of semiconductors from China and Hong Kong. In both cases, this only partly compensates Moscow for the losses incurred by the sanctions and export controls. In 2022, Russian imports of semiconductors fell by 54 percent.

The report also notes that while the PRC has made progress in the development and production of semiconductors, this is not the case for the most advanced chips; Chinese systems are also supposed to be of much worse quality.

Dual-Use Items

In the section on trade in military equipment and dual use, the report mentions, among others, about Russia importing navigation devices for helicopters, electronic warfare technology, drones and parts for fighter jets. According to the authors, citing a “Western report analyzing customs data”, China sent Russia “tens of thousands of packages”, some of which have military applications.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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