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China has sent tens of thousands of shipments to Russian weapons firms since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Telegraph reported on Aug. 19.
The Telegraph's investigation found that China has helped supply the Russian military with helicopters, drones, optical sights, and essential raw materials. Trade between Moscow and Beijing is on track to reach a record high this year of over $200 billion.
These trade records contradict China's claims of neutrality and its promises not to provide either Ukrainian or Russian forces with weapons.
China has also sought a role in international peace talks, a position undermined by its ongoing support for Russia.
According to the Telegraph, a Chinese company sent 1,000 drones to Russia in the months leading up to the full-scale invasion in February 2022. The firm described itself as "a wholesaler of children's toys" and shipped the drones to a Russian shell company that also listed itself as a toy seller.
After the invasion began, Chinese companies continued to supply military aid to Russia, including turbojets and missile navigation systems routed through India and Costa Rica.
The goods China exports are officially classified as "dual-use," meaning they have non-military applications. The classification allows China to get by international sanctions and maintain the fiction that it is not providing Russia with lethal aid.
Invoices for shipments of optical sights, which are attached to weapons to provide better vision, said the devices were for "hunting."
NATO and U.S. officials have threatened "severe consequences" should China supply Russia with lethal military aid.
The investigation found trade data from China indicating that Beijing is now "a critical lifeline" for Russia amid crippling economic sanctions.