China-Russia: Will Beijing decide to hand over weapons to the Kremlin? Expert forecast

The import of microprocessors to Russia actually resumed to the pre-war level. The Wall Street Journal writes about it. According to the publication, China plays the main role in this, it has doubled the supply of microcircuits and the parts get to Russia in circumvention of sanctions, FREEDOM reports.

Officially, Beijing supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, but is in no hurry to part with Russia.

“Russia still managed to find the key to the Chinese leadership, they managed to convince them that Ukraine is not a state, but a rebellious province. Accordingly, the Chinese leadership is hesitant,” political expert Taras Zagorodny said.

For China, Russia is traditionally an ally, according to Beijing, in opposing US hegemony.

“China views the strategic relationship with Russia as very important in their global ambitions. This also applies to economic ambitions, because Russia is an important resource partner from which China can receive resources. And the first reason is, of course, that they have a very long border, more than 4,000. It is important for China to have a calm rear that will not cause security concerns,” emphasized Natalia Plaksienko, an expert on East Asian affairs, a master of foreign policy -Butyrskaya.

The main flows of sanctioned products and goods of companies that left Russia go through China. For this, Beijing gains control over a significant part of the Russian market.

“Today, as we see in energy products, dependence is critical. And then, the second no less important thing is the dependence on industrial goods, on those components that can be used in industry. In fact, China is taking advantage of the vacant niche and trying to fill it. Without China, the Russian economy would be in a much more deplorable state,” said Yaroslav Romanchuk, chief economist at the Office of Simple Solutions and Results.

However, it is too early to say that China is openly opposing Ukraine. On the one hand, Beijing supplies microchips to Russia, and on the other hand, it refuses to let Russian aircraft with dual registration into its airspace.

Because of this, about half of the aircraft that Russian airlines have at their disposal cannot fly to China, writes The Moscow Times. Beijing also refuses to give guarantees that it will not seize aircraft at the request of third countries under Western sanctions, the Russian Ministry of Transport says.

Beijing will not sacrifice its own well-being because of Russia, experts are sure.

“To say that they will fully support Russia is unlikely. Even the supply of microchips is risky for China, because they are under the threat of sanctions, which can end very sadly for the Chinese economy. Since they are highly dependent on the markets of the European Union and the United States,” Zagorodniy noted.

China’s trade turnover with the European Union and the United States in 2022 amounted to $1.6 trillion – 8 times more than with Russia. According to China’s customs statistics, the volume of trade between China and Russia has reached the highest value in history, but this is only $190 billion.

In 2022, China is facing several major economic crises.

“This year, the main thing for China is to ensure economic growth. To make sure that economic growth and an increase in the well-being of our citizens compensate for the losses that have been all the past years in the economy and the social sphere. China can do this only by improving its relations with the West,” stressed international journalist, member of the board of the Ukrainian Association of Sinologists Oleksiy Koval.

According to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, the United States has already warned China of the consequences if it supports Russia in its war against Ukraine.

“I think this pro-Russian neutrality of China will continue. Perhaps there will be changes in one direction or the other, I think there will be targeted deliveries of weapons components or some technological components. But so far there is no question that China is ready to provide Russia with colossal military assistance, or as regards holistic models of military equipment,” said Yuri Poita, head of the Asia-Pacific region section of the CIACR (Center for Army Research, Conversion and Disarmament).