White House Concerned over PRC Companies' Equipment Sales to Russia

The Biden admin. has raised concerns with China regarding evidence that alleges that Chinese companies have sold non-lethal equipment to Russia for use in Ukraine. US officials said that the admin. wants to determine how much the PRC central government knows about the transactions.

White House Concerned over PRC Companies' Equipment Sales to Russia
Image credit: Business Insider

Facts

  • The Biden admin. has raised concerns with China regarding evidence that alleges that Chinese companies have sold non-lethal equipment to Russia for use in Ukraine. US officials said that the admin. wants to determine how much the PRC central government knows about the transactions.
  • US and European intelligence sources said that the equipment includes items such as flak jackets and helmets but does not include the more powerful military assistance that Russia has requested from China.
  • Some US officials believe that Beijing knows about the equipment transfers and should intervene to stop them. The Biden admin. is weighing the impact and significance of the dealings which are a matter of increasing concern among US officials.
  • At the onset of the war in Ukraine, Russia and China declared a “no limits” relationship, and US officials believed China intended to sell lethal weapons to Russia. China has since scaled back such statements amid pressure from the West, but it has not joined other countries in condemning Russia either.
  • Russia and China have expanded their defense ties to Africa and announced that they look to hold 10-day trilateral naval exercises with South Africa. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the drills are among three sovereign nations that are not violating any norms of international law.
  • US Sec. of State Antony Blinken plans to visit Beijing in early February — the first such visit since the COVID outbreak in 2020. The equipment transfers will reportedly be discussed, and Blinken has previously criticized China’s neutrality regarding the war in Ukraine.

Sources: CNN, Kion 546, AFR, and Newsweek.

Narratives

  • Anti-Russia narrative, as provided by Foreign Policy. The US must remain firm with China and not allow Beijing to aid Russia in its war of aggression against Ukraine. With China’s government facing a series of political and economic problems, the US is in a prime position to reason with Beijing and persuade it to refrain from supporting Russia. The US must play hardball to protect the international order.
  • Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by Tass. The West is trying to drive a wedge between Russia and China despite the two nations enjoying a "golden age" of relations. The US is not strong enough to contain both countries at the same time, and it is trying to police the relations between sovereign nations and impose its Western ideology. The US is not the master of the global order and sovereign states should be able to conduct legal business as they see fit.