The US warns China about the supply of Russian technology for weapons production

12:36, 24.04.2024

According to the Financial Times, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to visit China from April 24 to 26. His main agenda is discussing China's supply of dual-use technologies to Russia for weapon production. Sources indicate that if China doesn't cease this practice, the U.S. may impose sanctions on Chinese financial institutions. 

The U.S. has actively expressed its dissatisfaction with China bolstering Russia's military-industrial complex with Chinese technologies, especially during meetings with European partners and G7 members. Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell stated that China undermines European security by supplying dual-use technologies to Russia while also seeking to develop closer economic and political ties with Europe. 

A critical dual-use technology supplied by China to Russia is CNC machine tools, used by Russia for producing missile engines, microelectronics, aircraft components, artillery barrels, drones, armored vehicles, and more. After Western sanctions restricted CNC machine exports to Russia, China became the primary supplier of such equipment to Russia's military-industrial complex. Russian customs data shows that in July 2023, China supplied $68 million worth of equipment, compared to just $6.5 million in February 2022. Furthermore, Chinese CNC machines accounted for 57% of Russia's total CNC equipment imports in July 2023, up from 12% before the conflict. 

During the full-scale invasion, China introduced its five-axis CNC machines to the Russian market for the first time. This means that China not only helps Russia maintain access to Western equipment despite sanctions but also fills Russian markets with its own high-precision industrial technologies. 

It's worth noting that despite China's efforts to replace Western equipment in the Russian market, Chinese CNC machines haven't yet matched their Western counterparts in quality and precision. Chinese CNC machine production still relies on foreign components. For instance, new Chinese-made machines in Russian factories still use computer control systems and other components from Taiwanese, Japanese, German, and South Korean manufacturers.