Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year there have been multiple reports insinuating that China is backing Moscow in its war against Kyiv. Now, almost a year into the war, the United States has reportedly confronted China with evidence that Chinese state-owned companies may be providing help to Russia in its war against Ukraine.
People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the support includes non-lethal military and economic assistance. The report claimed that the Chinese support to Russia is just short of a wholesale evasion of the US sanctions regime.
China’s diplomatic stance on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine has not been all-out abrasive like that of European countries. On various international platforms, China has chosen to not condemn Russia. Though nothing substantiative has come out as to what the evidence indeed is, the Biden administration’s findings will have a potential impact on US foreign policy vis-a-vis Russia and China.
US and China are already in the midst of a technology war and over who is leading in the arena of advanced semiconductors. This, along with the Taiwan contestation, are the major areas to watch out for as the US tries to fully understand the significance of the reported evidence on Chinese state-owned companies’ help to Russia in its war against Ukraine.
China has already called out US, describing its sanctions on Russia “immoral.” Beijing has forthrightly refused to adhere to the US sanctions against Russia, however, any backdoor strategy to help Russia in the war is yet to be ascertained. Treasury secretary Janet Yellen met Vice Premier Liu He last week and US secretary of state Antony Blinken is set to visit Beijing in February, the first such visit since the Covid-19 outbreak shut down travel in early 2020.
“Now, what you hear from Beijing is that it claims to be neutral,” US State Secretary Antony Blinken said earlier over China’s claims of being neutral over Russia’s war against Ukraine. “I would start with the proposition that it’s pretty hard to be neutral when it comes to this aggression. There is a clear aggressor. There is a clear victim.”
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