China is helping Russia evade Western sanctions and likely providing Moscow with military and dual-use technology for use in Ukraine, an unclassified US intelligence report released on Thursday said.
“The PRC is providing some dual-use technology that Moscow’s military uses to continue the war in Ukraine, despite an international cordon of sanctions and export controls,” the report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said.
“The customs records show PRC state-owned defence companies shipping navigation equipment, jamming technology, and fighter jet parts to sanctioned Russian Government-owned defence companies,” the report added.
China has repeatedly denied sending military equipment to Russia since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, even as several media reports have previously claimed otherwise.
US officials have also raised concern about transfers of “dual-use equipment” from China to Russia in the past. But they have repeatedly said they are yet to see evidence of the transfer of lethal assistance for Russia’s use on the battlefield.
ODNI cited much of the information to media reports. It added: “The Intelligence Community lacks sufficient reporting to assess whether Beijing is deliberately inhibiting United States Government export control end-use checks, including interviews and investigations, in the PRC.”
The report, published by the US House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, also raised concerns about Beijing’s increasing proximity to Moscow.
China has become “an even more critical partner” of Russia after Moscow invaded Ukraine last year, the report said.
ODNI said China and Russia had increased the share of bilateral trade settled in China’s yuan currency, and both countries’ financial institutions are expanding their use of domestic payment systems.
China has increased it importation of Russia energy exports, including oil and gas rerouted from Europe, the report added.
Earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macron’s top diplomatic adviser Emmanuel Bonne said China was delivering items that could be used as military equipment to Russia, although not on a massive scale.
Increasingly close ties between China and Russia have also been a longstanding concern of the US. In February this year, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned China will face “real costs” if it provides lethal aid to Russia.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena