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Politico: China sends rifles, body armor to Russian entities
Trade and customs data from between June and December 2022 showed that Chinese companies have exported 1,000 assault rifles and other equipment, such as drone parts and body armor, to Russian entities, Politico reported.
One of the companies involved is Da-Jiang Innovations Science & Technology Co. (DJI) which has been under U.S. sanctions since 2021 for aiding the Chinese government in keeping tabs on the persecuted Uyghur community in Xinjiang.
DJI sent drone parts, including batteries and cameras, to a Russian business through the United Arab Emirates in November and December 2022.
According to Politico, China North Industries Group Corporation Limited transferred the rifles in June 2022 to Tekhkrim, a company that does business with the Russian military.
There is no explicit evidence that proves the shipments were intended for the battlefield, as Politico noted, given the "dual use" nature of these products. However, Western countries have expressed growing concern over China's potential involvement in the war in recent weeks.
CIA Director Bill Burns said in an interview with CBS News on Feb. 24 that China was considering sending lethal aid to Russia and brought the topic to light in hopes of deterring Beijing from going forward with any such decision.
Burns stressed that sending lethal aid to Russia would be a "very risky and unwise bet" for China's President Xi Jinping.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged China on March 2 not to arm Russia, encouraging Beijing to "use their influence in Moscow to urge the withdrawal of Russian troops" instead.