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UK Defence Minister: China to Supply Lethal Aid to Russia

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In a significant and alarming revelation, UK Defence Minister Grant Shapps has accused China of providing or preparing to provide Russia with lethal aid for its ongoing war in Ukraine. Speaking at the London Defence Conference, Shapps emphasized that this development should serve as a wake-up call for the international community.

The Accusations

Shapps’ statements are based on intelligence from both the U.S. and British defense agencies. He claimed that there is evidence indicating “lethal aid is now, or will be, flowing from China to Russia and into Ukraine.” Although Shapps did not provide specific evidence during his speech, he highlighted a 64% increase in trade between China and Russia since the onset of the Ukraine conflict. This surge in economic activity, he suggested, is a strong indicator of their deepening partnership, which now appears to include military support.

China’s Response

In response to these accusations, China has maintained its stance of neutrality in the conflict. The Chinese embassy in London did not immediately comment on Shapps’ remarks. Previously, the Chinese embassy in the U.S. denied supplying weapons to Russia, asserting that China is “not a producer of or party involved in the Ukraine crisis.” Nevertheless, the close ties between Beijing and Moscow have been evident, particularly during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to China, where both leaders pledged a “new era” of partnership against U.S. influence.

Evidence of Military Support

Senior U.S. officials have reported that China is providing Moscow with drone and missile technology, satellite imagery, and machine tools. These types of support, while not directly lethal in themselves, can significantly enhance Russia’s military capabilities in Ukraine.

International Implications

Shapps’ allegations are part of a broader narrative suggesting that authoritarian regimes, including Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, have been emboldened by perceived Western hesitance to confront repression and aggression. He called for a robust international response, urging NATO members to increase their defense spending to 2.5% of their gross domestic product.

“The world needs to wake up,” Shapps declared, stressing the need for democratic nations to advocate for a values-based international order. This call to action is not only about recognizing the immediate threat posed by China’s alleged support for Russia but also about strengthening global alliances to deter future aggressions.

Editor’s note: The UK Defence Minister is correct in calling for vigilance based on whatever evidence he has. Some believe that our satellites and and intelligence apparati are infallible. They are not – do not underestimate the other side fighting against you. China has an intelligence organization that is very good, and capable of hiding major movements of weapons from our detection at least for the short term. You should have no doubt about that. ACZ’s conclusion is that is it likely that China has been provide “lethal” aid to Russia for quite a while.

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