fredag 26. april 2024

Why is China risking US sanctions by arming Russia? Survival

US secretary of state Antony Blinken fired a warning salvo towards China during a G7 foreign ministers’ meeting on the Italian island of Capri on April 20. The US’s top diplomat said that China is a “prime contributor” of weapons-related technology to Russia, and was fuelling what is the “biggest threat to European security since the end of the Cold War”.

As Blinken detailed further when he landed in Beijing this week, while China has complied with US’s requests not to sell arms to Russia during the Ukraine war, the list of items they are selling, which could have military use, is extensive. They include semiconductors, drones, helmets, vests, machine tools and radios.

Apparently, the Chinese resupply of the Russian industrial complex also undermines Ukrainian security. And unfortunately for China, Chinese support of the Kremlin’s war effort is likely to earn Chinese firms sanctions from the US government. Why then is Beijing aiding Moscow so ardently even when imminent US sanctions are going to aggravate its already weak economy? One word: survival.