How is China supporting Russia after it was sanctioned for Ukraine war?

How is China supporting Russia after it was sanctioned for Ukraine war?
Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during the opening ceremony of the third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on October 18, 2023.Getty Images

This year, Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, will match with Xi Jinping in Beijing.

The Kremlin’s top official has been in China for the next time in seven months, and this is their third meeting since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Beijing has since grown to be a crucial lover for Moscow as it works to lessen the impact of restrictions imposed by the US and other nations.

Is China providing Russia with arms?

China has consistently refuted claims that it gives Russia arms.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in an interview with BBC News that” the provision of actual wings by China to Russia for use in Ukraine is no happening.”

Nevertheless, China has been accused of building up Moscow’s war system by providing vital components.

Mr Blinken said:” Those are being used to aid Russia on what’s an extraordinary accident program effort to make more weapons, vehicles, armoured vehicles, weapons”.

About 70 % of the machine tools and 90 % of the microelectronics Russia imports come from China, he added.

A handout photo made available by the press service of the Russian Defence Ministry on 06 September 2022 shows tanks and servicemen taking part in the Vostok 2022 strategic command and staff exercise


About 20 businesses with headquarters in China and Hong Kong were the targets of the May punishment issued by Washington. One exports parts for drones, according to the statement, while the others have reportedly assisted Moscow in abiding by American sanctions on different systems.

According to Maria Shagina of the UK-based consider cylinder the International Institute of Strategic Studies,” there is proof that China is the biggest producer of semiconductors- frequently through tank companies in Hong Kong and the UAE- to Russia.”

” Some Chinese firms are also providing drones for civilian use, thereby squandering the space between military and civilian reasons.”

China defends its deal with Moscow by claiming that it “prudently handles the import of dual-use products in accordance with laws and regulations” and that it is not selling lethal weapons. According to a study by the think tank Carnegie Endowment, Beijing exports more than$ 300 million worth of dual-use items, which are those that have both commercial and military applications, each month to Russia. It says the listing includes what the US has designated as “high priority” products, which are necessary for making arms, from robots to vehicles.

RUSI, a think tank based in the UK, has also urged caution against the use of Chinese satellite technology for intelligence on Ukraine’s top line.

How much has China’s commerce with Russia increased?

Beijing has become Moscow’s vital supplier of autos, clothes, natural substances and many other products, after Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia.

Trade between China and Russia reached a record$ 240bn ( £191bn ) in 2023, up more than 64 % since 2021- before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine- according to official figures from China.

Russia's growing trade with China . in US$bn. Bar Chart showing Russia's growing trade with China from 2015 to 2023. .

According to the statistics, Russia’s imports from China totaled$ 111 billion and its exports to China totaled$ 29 billion.

In 2023, China’s automotive exports totaled$ 23 billion, off from$ 6 billion in the previous month.

” Soviet natural gas is fuelling many Chinese communities, and Chinese- made cars are running on Russian highways”, said China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi in March.

Workers walk past new Chinese cars unloaded from a ship at a commercial port in Vladivostok, Russia


Yet, some experts consider this a “lopsided” partnership in which Russia is more reliant on China than vice versa.

As of 2023, China has become Russia’s best trade companion, while Russia is China’s fifth- largest business partner.

How much oil and gas does China purchase from Russia?

Nearly half of the annual revenues of the Russian government come from oil and gas.

Its sales to the US, UK and EU countries have plummeted since the invasion, because of sanctions.

Increased sales to Asia, particularly China and India, have significantly reduced this shortfall.

In 2023, Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia to become China’s top crude oil supplier. 107 million tonnes of crude oil were imported from Moscow, up 24 % from 2022, according to Beijing.

The G7 group of “advanced” economies, along with the European Union and Australia, has also tried to limit Russia earnings by imposing a worldwide cap on the price of its oil transported by sea.

China has nevertheless continued to purchase Russian crude at levels above the cap.

Chinese imports of Russia oil and LPG (liquified petroleum gas). 2015 to 2023, millions of tonnes. .

Since the invasion, India, which has maintained its decades-old relationship with Russia, has also been a major buyer of its discounted oil.

Russia’s share of India’s total oil imports hit a record high of 44 % in June 2023, according to the Bank of Baroda, an Indian state- controlled lender.

In 2023, China also imported eight million tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas ( LPG) from Russia, a 77 % increase from 2021.

Additionally, the two nations intend to strengthen energy ties, including a brand-new pipeline known as the Power of Siberia 2 that will bring natural gas from Russia’s western Siberia region to north-eastern China.

The original Power of Siberia pipeline, which has been in operation since 2019, has provided gas to China already.