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Chinese defense minister arrives in Belarus on state visit

by The Kyiv Independent news desk August 16, 2023 1:34 PM 2 min read
Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu speaks at the Asia Security Summit, known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, in Singapore on June 4, 2023. (Photo credit: Kyodo News via Getty Images)
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Chinese defense minister Li Shangfu arrived in Belarus on Aug. 16, Belarusian state news agency BELTA reported, citing the country's defense ministry.

Li's trip, in which he will meet with Belarus' military leadership, is part of a planned state visit to both Russia and Belarus first announced on Aug. 14.

According to BELTA, pertinent questions of military cooperation in areas of mutual interest will be discussed at the meetings. Li is also expected to visit several military facilities in the country.

On Aug. 15, Li met with Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu on the sidelines of the Moscow Conference on International Security in the Russian capital.

According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, Li warned against alleged Western attempts to "use Taiwan to contain China," saying they would "surely end in failure."

As Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine continues, the threat of Beijing playing an increasing role on Moscow's side is a growing concern.

On July 27, a report by the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence detailed how China was delivering millions of dollars worth of dual-use technologies, parts of military equipment, and other supplies to Moscow.

While there have not yet been independently verified instances of lethal military aid being delivered from China to Russia, Chinese-made mortars have been observed on numerous occasions in Russian ammunition dumps captured by Ukrainian troops.

US intelligence report: China’s support increasingly important for Russia’s war effort
Chinese support is growing increasingly crucial for Russia’s war efforts in Ukraine, according to an unclassified report by the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence released on July 27.
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