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Is China Supplying Weapons to Russia?

Updated: Apr 27, 2023



In response to concerns from the West that China was considering giving Moscow military support, China has stated that it will not supply arms to Russia.


Beijing will not sell arms to parties involved in the war in Ukraine, the nation's foreign minister Qin Gang said recently, reaffirming China's readiness to assist in bringing the situation to a peaceful conclusion.


In Gang’s words: China adopts a prudent and responsible attitude regarding the export of military items. China will not provide weapons to relevant parties of the conflict, and manage and control the exports of dual-use items in accordance with laws and regulations.


This is due to a number of factors. First, in recent years, China has been quickly developing its own defence sector. As a result, it is now less dependent on imports from Russia or other nations. China has actually been focusing on creating its own cutting-edge military technologies, such as stealth jets, drones, and powerful missile systems. As a result, China no longer needs to buy weaponry from Russia.


Second, there have been some tensions between China and Russia in recent years over matters including territorial disputes and economic rivalry. The relationship between the two countries has been strained despite the fact that these issues have not yet resulted in an open conflict. China might be less inclined to back Russia militarily as a result.


Third, by providing Russia with weapons, China may be regarded as hindering its efforts to become a major participant in global peace efforts and affairs. In recent years, China has adopted a more assertive foreign policy stance, investing in global infrastructure projects, increasing its military presence in the South China Sea, and engaging in economic diplomacy. Providing Russia with military assistance might be considered a distraction from these efforts.


And last, China might be leery of becoming very entangled in the battles that Russia is currently fighting. Among other areas, Russia has been involved in wars in Syria and Ukraine, and it may be argued that arming Russia is the same as siding with one side in these crises. In order to prevent further straining its relations with the West, China mostly seeks to adopt a neutral stance in these issues.


Overall, there are a number of explanations for why China is not providing Russia with weaponry. China has become less dependent on supplies from Russia as it develops its own defence sector and asserts itself globally. Nevertheless, despite these disagreements, the two nations continue to have a close relationship and work together in other fields like trade and energy.

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