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US Treasury issues warning to China

American officials claim that Chinese firms are selling tools and equipment to the Russian military

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has threatened Chinese companies with “consequences” if they supply parts or equipment to the Russian military. During a multi-day trip to Beijing, Yellen also accused China of saturating global markets with cheap goods.

“Secretary Yellen emphasized that companies, including those in the PRC, must not provide material support for Russia’s war against Ukraine, including support to the Russian defense industrial base,” the US Treasury said in a statement released after Yellen met her Chinese counterpart, He Lifeng, in Guangzhou on Friday.

Yellen warned that these firms would face “significant consequences if they do so,” the statement continued.

American officials have repeatedly warned Chinese companies against doing business with the Russian military since Moscow began its operation in Ukraine in 2022. Yellen’s latest warning came as anonymous US officials told Bloomberg that Chinese firms were supplying microelectronics and machine tools for the production of tanks, and optics and propellants for use in missiles.

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Washington accuses Beijing of flooding world with cheap goods

Neither Moscow nor Beijing have commented on the report, although both have repeatedly denied American claims that the Russian military has bought ammunition and ‘dual use’ technology (with both military and civilian applications) from China.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have deepened their military and diplomatic cooperation over the past two years, with both leaders declaring a “no limits” partnership in February 2022. That partnership has seen Russia become China’s largest supplier of oil, while the Russian space agency Roscosmos announced last month that it could work with China to build an automated nuclear reactor on the moon by 2035

Speaking to Chinese officials and American business figures on Friday, Yellen said that the US would “pursue a healthy economic relationship with China.” However, she made a few pointed criticisms of Beijing, accusing China of oversubsidizing its industries to the point that Chinese manufacturers are producing more goods for export “than the global market can bear.”

 

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