While the West has imposed sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, the Chinese regime has been warming up to Russia, providing key economic and military support.
U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said on Sept. 1 that the alliance between Russia and China worried him.
In the 14 months from February 2022 to March this year, total investment in Russia by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China (BOC), China Construction Bank, and Agricultural Bank of China rose from $2.2 billion to $9.7 billion, according to Russian central bank data. ICBC and BOC accounted for $8.8 billion of that total.
In addition, data from the Kyiv School of Economics show that China’s exposure to the Russian banking sector quadrupled in the same 14 months. These Chinese banks have been replacing Western banks in Russia. Western banks are under immense pressure from their own countries’ regulators and politicians to exit Russia, and international sanctions have made it very difficult to do business.
Military Support and Its Objective
In July, the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report (pdf) stating that the CCP was providing Russia with technology and equipment and that China has become an increasingly important pillar of Russia’s war effort.
Citing third-party data provider analysis of official Russian customs data, the report said that as of March, the CCP had shipped more than $12 million worth of drones and drone parts to Russia. The report also said that China’s state-owned defense industries have been supplying dual-use related products, including navigation equipment, communication jamming equipment, and mobile radar parts to Russia’s sanctioned state-owned defense industries.
Carl Schuster, former director of operations at the U.S. Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center in Hawaii, told The Epoch Times that the CCP’s supply of drones and drone parts to Russia shows that Beijing wants Moscow to keep fighting and wants to “kill two birds with one stone.”
“The PRC leadership’s reasoning is as much military as geopolitical,” Mr. Schuster said, referring to the People’s Republic of China. “Militarily, China and many other countries see the war as a laboratory where new tactics and systems are being examined and tested. The PLA [People’s Liberation Army] and others are studying both sides’ employment of drones, use of commercial satellites, and networks and counter-drone tactics and weapons.”
He argued, “Strategically and diplomatically, military material and supplies cement the Sino–Russian partnership, sustaining Russia’s war effort, and diverting U.S. attention and resources away from Asia and the Indo-Pacific.”
Mr. Schuster also pointed out that the military technology provided by the CCP was crucial to the success of the Russia–Ukraine war.
“Drones have become an essential tool in modern war, both as a weapon and reconnaissance platform,” he said. “Also, jamming equipment is vital to reducing an enemy’s ability to monitor its air space and command its forces. Navigation equipment enables your troops to maneuver more precisely and accurately. That greatly improves the coordination of combat units. Finally, precision weapons require very advanced navigation systems, as do the units employing them.”
Seeking Global Dominance Through Russia–Ukraine War
The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence report also said that China’s semiconductor exports to Russia have grown significantly since 2021, with “hundreds of millions of dollars worth of U.S.-made or U.S.-branded semiconductors flowing into Russia despite sanctions and export controls.”
Anders Corr, founder of Corr Analytics and Epoch Times contributor, said that it is unacceptable for the CCP to ship critical U.S. equipment to the Russian military.
Mr. Corr said: “Americans should demand of Washington and our allies stronger technology controls on China. The controls should also apply to Hong Kong and Macau, both of which are administered by Beijing and should therefore be treated as one with China.”
“China’s support of Russia with equipment for its military is no surprise given Beijing’s long-time support of Moscow,” Mr. Corr said.
“The CCP failed to condemn the invasion because it actually supports the invasion,” he explained. “The CCP thinks that war in other parts of the world weakens the rest of the world and makes it easier for the Party to achieve regional and then global hegemony, which is its long-term goal.”
Mr. McCaul said recently that the alliance between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin provides a very big challenge for the free world.
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.