The Biden administration has recently expressed concerns. China Evidence suggests that Chinese companies have sold non-lethal devices. Russia for use in UkraineIn an effort to determine how much Beijing knew about the transaction, according to two U.S. officials.
The equipment includes items such as flak jackets and helmets, multiple sources familiar with U.S. and European intelligence told CNN, but lacks the more robust military support requested by Russia.
One of the US officials said the equipment transfer was “concerning”, but at this stage, it was unclear to Washington whether the central government was aware of it. Although state-owned enterprises dominate China’s economy, not all are subject to day-to-day oversight.
The second official said some U.S. officials believe the Chinese government knows about the equipment transfers and should take steps to contain them.
While the Biden administration is still considering the impact and overall significance of the support, it is a cause for concern among US officials.
U.S. officials declined to provide details of the communications between the Biden administration and Beijing.
Secretary of State Tony Blanken will travel to China in the coming weeks, and the exchange is expected to be a topic of discussion, the second official said.
CNN has reached out to the Chinese Embassy in Washington for comment. Bloomberg First reported Liaison between the Biden administration and Beijing.
If the Biden administration determines that China’s central government is knowingly aiding — or knowingly allowing — Russia to attack, the administration will have to decide how to respond forcefully. Is. From the early days of the war, top aides President Joe Biden China has issued a warning of possible consequences if China chooses to support Russia in the conflict.
Such direct material aid from the Chinese government would also represent an apparent deepening of China’s self-imposed partnership with Moscow, which has been carefully calibrated thus far.
China and Russia publicly announced. “Friendship Without Limits” At the beginning of the conflict. But as Russia’s progress on the battlefield has sputtered and the international community has rallied around Ukraine, China has stopped offering much of the financial and military support requested by Moscow. Sources familiar with U.S. intelligence said Beijing — economically tied to the West in ways that Russia is not — wants to avoid angering the international community.
The U.S. official said the U.S. believed China intended to sell deadly weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine at the start of the war. But China has since significantly scaled back those plans, the person said — something the Biden administration sees as a victory.
US intelligence officials have consistently said they have seen no evidence that China has provided lethal aid to Russia.
CIA Director Bill Burns said, “It appears that there are indeed limits to this partnership, not least in terms of President Xi’s reluctance to provide the kind of military assistance to Putin that he It was demanded during the war in Ukraine.” PBS’ Judy Woodruff in December.
Yet China has refrained from publicly criticizing Russia’s war effort, and the two countries have repeatedly emphasized their partnership.
In December, after a virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the two countries would strengthen cooperation between their armed forces and pointed to increased trade.